A human rights group is reporting that children's rights are again being abused in Uzbekistan, where thousands of youths are being forced to work in cotton fields.
In Karakalpakstan, an autonomous northwestern region, schoolchildren and students have been sighted at work in cotton fields, one rights group, Veritas claims.
The organization says a request for information from local authorities on the number of children engaged in forced labor was denied, but observations suggest that all able-bodied students are at work weeding. The work is unpaid and the school year disrupted, according to a Veritas report issued June 10.
Nutritious food and even water are in tight supply, Veritas added. Children who have been deployed to different farms rely on what individual owners can provide them with, or they must provision themselves.
"How food for the youth is organized depends on the financial capacity of each accepting local farmer. Sometimes the local farm allocates funds for food to the [school the students came from], which in its turn buys food for the [young people]. The majority of the youth rely on food [from] their families, or [they] buy food from the local population," the report said.