Photo used under Creative Commons license from here.
“Slavery is an ongoing problem in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. Approximately half of all cotton is picked by state-sponsored forced labour. Human rights groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of children and adults are involved each year. Uzbekistan is the sixth largest producer of cotton in the world and the fifth biggest exporter, generating an estimated US$1 billion annually through the export of around 850,000 tonnes of cotton every year. Despite these profits, those ordered to pick the cotton remain impoverished as workers are paid little, if anything.”
Anon (nd) Background: slavery in the Uzbek cotton industry. Anti Slavery International (http://www.antislavery.org/english/campaigns/cottoncrimes/forced_labour_in_uzbekistan_background.aspx last accessed 6 October 2013)