The government of Uzbekistan forced an estimated 500,000 people to weed cotton fields bet- ween April and August 2015. The Uzbek Prime Minister issued orders to mobilize people to the cotton fields, calling for a “war against weeds.” Regional and district officials translated the message into specific orders for each institution within their jurisdiction, and administrators of public-sector institutions sent employees in groups to clear the cotton fields, under threat of losing their jobs. The government mobilized more education and healthcare workers than any other sector, primarily from rural areas of the country.

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