Forced Labor Persists in Uzbek Cotton Harvest

Catherine Putz
The Diplomat
The cotton harvest is underway in Central Asia again, and in due course citizens in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are being coerced into picking cotton. In the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report, released in late July, Uzbekistan was graced with an upgrade, ostensibly for making progress with regard to child labor.
In the report, the U.S. State Department writes that the “Government of Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.”