Nurse, Turtkul’s Central Maternity Hospital, Turtkul district, Karakalpakstan region. November 3, 2015

July 27, 2016

“No one is even considering complaining about the situation. Everyone says they are going voluntarily. Before cotton season, in meetings they were told to tell everyone else, that they are collecting cotton by their own will. This is the country’s policy, they said. Every morning, people who were paid and those staff members who cannot afford to pay someone else would gather in front of the maternity hospital. Buses leave at 8 in the morning, and only return after sundown.

In contracts, it is not stated that people have to collect cotton, however it is said that workers have to participate in community service. And cotton harvesting is counted as one. People are not ware of the fact, that their rights are being violated, and even if they do know, they keep quiet. Because there will no benefit of only 2-3 people complaining.”