On September 23, 2016 the activists Malokhat Eshonkulova and Elena Urlaeva went to the Buka district in the region of Tashkent to conduct fact-finding on forced labor in the cotton harvest.
Malokhat and Elena discovered that the medical staff of the city of Angren were currently employed in the cotton harvest. They were brought to work in the cotton fields in the village of Bakhmal, located in the Buka district, on September 12, 2016.
200 medical workers of the unit 619 were accommodated in the school No. 46, whose director is Mavlyuda Kurbanov.
Doctors are sleeping in the school gym, in the kitchen and in the homes of Bakhmal villagers.
A list of doctors, with their daily schedules and the name of their chief, in this case Sobirjon Dzhumakulova, can be seen hanging on the wall. Doctors get up at 5 am and start work in the fields at 6 am. The daily cotton quota they have to collect is 60 kilograms, for which they receive 264 Som per kilogram.
Doctors from multidisciplinary clinics in the town of Angren are accommodated close to the school, in the building of Bakhmal’s local adminstration. There are 67 people working in unit № 625 whose chief is Karimjon Madusmonov.
Elena and Malokhat distributed flyers containing information on the prohibition of forced labor to doctors in the cotton fields.
Cardiologists, nurses, and assistant nurses reported that they were all sent to the cotton fields against their will and that they were threatened that they would lose their job if they refused to harvest cotton.
The Buka district is party to a World Bank project, which prohibits the use of forced labor.
Malokhat Eshonkulova and Elena Urlaeva,
September 23, 2016, Tashkent