Published on December 19th, 2012 | by Tomas
My Cotton Picking Life
How long will you spend picking cotton in this exploration of child labor in Uzbekistan?
This game comes originally from a news article on the Guardian website that reported on the scandal of cotton picking by kids in Uzbekistan that are used to make clothes, supplied to people in the west. This is about forced labor – the kids are taken out of school and forced to work:
Uzbekistan, one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, forces adults and children as young as nine to pick cotton under what the charity Anti-Slavery International describes as “appalling conditions”.
The kids are given quotas per day to meet (up to 50kg) and if they don’t meet these can be punished. To compound it all, Uzbekistan has an appalling human rights record, according to Human Rights Watch. We also looked at this article on the BBC and this video on RFERL.org. This is from Anti-Slavery campaign’s website (used as a source for the research):
The government of Uzbekistan closes down schools across the country and children, teachers and other workers are forced to work on the cotton fields with little or no pay. Each child is given a daily quota and can collect up to 50kg of cotton a day. Children who fail to pick enough cotton or those who pick low-quality cotton are punished with beatings, detention or told that their grades will suffer. Children who run away from the cotton fields, or who refuse to work, are threatened with being expelled from school.
So what we wanted to do with this game was to give a glimpse into the monotony of that job – something you as the player can end any time, unlike most of the people forced to do this work. However you can take action!
Find out more & take action!