As the 2014 cotton harvest slowly draws to its close in Uzbekistan, increasingly numbers of injuries and fatalities associated with the harvest are coming to light. The latest tragic incident involved the death of 56-year-old Hursanai Koroboeva.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has praised Uzbekistan for tentative progress in the fight against child labor after it found only 49 cases of children working in Uzbek cotton fields this year.
Although the president of Uzbekistan congratulated the country for having achieved this year's harvest target of 3.4 million tons of cotton, drivers in Jizzakh province are still being arbitrarily stopped by police and forced to work in nearby cotton fields.
Uzbekistan is in frenzy: The country is trying to meet this year's government cotton quota. Public-sector employees, students, and others are still working hard in the fields. In the meantime farmers are busily applying creative math to make it appear as if they have delivered on the quantities of cotton required by the government.
A Russian economics expert believes that migrant laborers working in Russia might become negatively impacted by Western sanctions imposed on Russia in 8-12 months time. Migrants themselves do not feel any particular impact at the moment.
The cotton harvest has started in Uzbekistan and at least one of the schools in Kokand is losing most of its teachers (40 out 75). Those left behind are supposed to cover for their colleagues’ classes while their colleagues are picking cotton.