Uzbekistan – the world’s 6th largest producer of cotton – is unique for the scale of the state-sponsored, forced mobilisation of schoolchildren during the annual cotton harvest. Child labour is not the result of poverty or family need. It is at the behest of and directly benefits one of the world’s most corrupt and repressive regimes, which makes an estimated US$1 billion [£622 million] from the annual sale of 1 million tonnes of cotton.

The report White Gold – Uzbekistan, A Slave Nation For Our Cotton? aims to promote long-term solutions to forced labour and environmental damage and support for workable, durable and effective policy solutions. We used information gathered during the 2010 cotton harvest.