Starting on May 17, children in the Khorezm province's Yangibozor district have been sent out to weed and work in the cotton fields. The district's schoolchildren from 6th to 9th grades (12-15 years old) are taking part. Presumably this means lycee level high school students are also out. One sixth grade girl interviewed in the fields related that the work day begins at 8 in the morning until dusk. The children have been promised they will be back in school after a week. Others report that children down to the fifth grade have been observed working at the behest of their schools; some are in school for a partial day and then sent out after a morning lesson.
The Radio Liberty Uzbek service reporter interviewed the Khorezm provincial education department deputy director, Kuronboi Tojiev, who denied children were being sent out to work. He claimed that they might be found in the fields after school helping their parents...sound familiar?