Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth largest producer and second largest exporter of cotton in the world, and unlike other countries where child labor is common, it is the totalitarian state of Uzbekistan’s official policy to employ children. This book discusses the use of child labor in cotton cultivation in Uzbekistan following the fall of the Soviet Union, drawing on an extensive field investigation and in-depth interviews with human rights activists, government officials, and social workers.
Bilal Bhat is assistant professor of sociology at Jammu & Kashmir Institute of Management, Public Administration, and Rural Development.
“This book looks at the post-Soviet transition of Uzbekistan’s economy and social life through a lens of child labor in cotton production. Bilal Bhat employs results of multiple surveys to illustrate the paradoxes of the collapse of the post-Soviet agricultural sector in Central Asian countries. The author studies complex and conflicting interaction among the state, the society, and the new elites in Uzbekistan through their attitude toward child labor, childhood, and education”.
— Muzaffar A. Olimov, Tajikistan Academy of Sciences