Human rights monitor Elena Urlayeva has been reporting from the cotton fields in Uzbekistan, where students have been put to work doing weeding. She notes in particular this year that children have been forced to wear face masks, to try to avoid breathing salt peter (sodium nitrate) used as fertilizer. You can see the photos she has taken of the students in masks here.
Last week at the ILO annual conference, employers and unions condemned child labor in Uzbekistan.
“This Sunday is World Day Against Child Labor, and the international union movement calls on Uzbekistan to respect fundamental labour rights and to allow an independent committee under the auspices of the ILO to observe the next harvest,” the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Ms. Sharan Burrow said in a statement.