In the late soviet period, Uzbekistan then still a part of the Soviet union invested heavily in the mechanization of the cotton industry. Child labor was used then but not as extensively as it is today, two decades after Uzbekistan's independence. With the heavy amount of investments on the mechanization of the cotton industry, the demand for forced labor wasn't as great as it nowadays. With the significant decrease of investments on the mechanization of the cotton industry, most cotton today is picked manually. As a result, the demand for forced labor has increased significantly. Children have remanded a part of this forced labor unit because their work is vital to the success of the cotton harvest.
The practice of forced labor in Uzbekistan is a violation of the country's own laws as well as the international convention on labor and human rights.
It is important to note that Uzbekistan has signed and ratified the following international documents that prohibit forced and child labor: Convention on the Rights of the child, International covenant on civilÃ¢ÂÂ¨and Political Rights, International labor organization;
(ILO) convention no 129 on forced labor, (ILO) convention no 105 on the abolition of forced labor, (ILO) convention no 138 on the Minimum age of employment, (ILO) convention no 182 on the Prohibition and Immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor. Despite signing and agreeing to all these policies, the Uzbek government has hardly implemented any of these conventions. Even though the Uzbek government agreed to allow limited monitoring by observers from the ILO, these observes will be accompanied with government officials. The Cotton Campaign said in a statement issued at the start of the harvest on September 9 that: "We remain concerned that the ILO...