SOAS University of London

Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus

Centre's Publications

Publications produced by the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus, SOAS.  

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What has changed? Progress in eliminating the use of forced child labour in the cotton harvests of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (Nov 2010)

The production and export of cotton continues to be a major feature of the economy, politics and everyday lives of the people of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Bringing in the cotton harvest in Central Asia has traditionally involved mobilizing wide sections of the community, including young people. However, since independence in 1991 Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have been faced with the challenge of reforming their agricultural sectors in response to not only the pressures of international markets but also their commitment to international norms, including ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. This report draws from an original data set from the 2009 harvest to assess the extent to which Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have made progress on this commitment, and to use this comparative perspective in order to analyse the nature and causes of their use of child labour in the cotton sector.

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What has changed? [Was Hat Sich Verandert?]

German version of the report published in November 2010.

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Invisible to the World: The Dynamics of Forced Child Labour in the Cotton Sector of Uzbekistan (2008)

Co-ordinated by Deniz Kandiyoti

The central objective of this policy paper is to provide an evidence-based assessment of the recruitment of school-age children for the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. It draws on the results of a survey administered in six rural districts in 2007 that examines the scale and mechanisms of recruitment, the conditions of work and the consequences for children’s welfare. The findings point to widespread compulsory recruitment of children for the cotton harvest for up to two months. This results in interruptions in schooling as well as exposure to conditions of work that merit close examination in light of the criteria set by the ILO Conventions 138 and 182.

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