The Institute for War and Peace Reporting has produced some of the most insightful discussions on this subject since 2004, exposing the reasons behind forced child labor on cotton. Their latest chronicle of the start of the 2009 harvest is based on interviews with several farmers who candidly discuss why they go along with the state's supply of schoolchildren for picking:
“In the early Nineties, we had good cotton picking machines,” said a farmer in the Khorezm region of northwestern Uzbekistan. “In1991, for example, children were not forced to go out to the fields, as the cotton was picked by machines.”
And another farmer added:
“If farmers were given more freedom and were able dispose of the money in their bank accounts freely, it would be possible to gather cotton without using child labour,” said a farmer in the Jizak region of central Uzbekistan. “Many people go to Kazakstan to pick cotton because the pay is better there.”
This year, farmers are being paid (by the government monopsony), according to the article, a princely 30 US cents per kilogram of raw cotton. The solution to this problem is in the government's hands.