The following article by Voice of America was originally published in the Uzbek language and is available here.
The translation into English follows:
"While the delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov visited Washington yesterday, U.S. activists held a protest in front of the Uzbek Embassy.
Coalition of dozens of organizations and companies for several years trying to draw international attention to the problem of child exploitation in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.
According to the representative of the American Federation of Teachers, the Coalition is concerned about the state-sponsored exploitation of the population.
"We want to draw attention to the fact that the forced labor of children is organized by the state. In the development of cotton production, the government forces officials, teachers, children, citizens, like slaves to go to the fields. Private business is also involved in the forced labour. Uzbekistan is different in that it is state-sponsored exploitation," said Abby Mills.
Coalition members came with placards to the Uzbek Embassy. Two people were kept out of the Uzbek cotton fabric embroidered with images of children working in the fields.
According to the international coalition in the last season, despite promises, Uzbek government again sent the children to pick cotton, although in smaller numbers. Coalition demand Tashkent to allow representatives of the International Labour Organization to assess the situation during the upcoming cotton season.
To date, 130 companies reported that exclude Uzbek cotton from their products. That's 50 companies more than last year.
As a result, the South Korean company Daewoo, working in the textile industry of Uzbekistan, which has three factories and clothing stores around the world have lost the cooperation with some major apparel manufacturers.
"Our campaign has increased from year to year and it seems Uzbek government listen our demands. The was less children in the fields, but they have been replaced with older children and adults. But it is also compulsory practice. We demand to stop it completely," said the head of the International Labor Rights Forum Judy Gearhart.
Protesters taking the opportunity of the visit of Uzbek Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov in Washington intended to deliver a letter, but no one came out from the embassy to get it."