Silk’s dark side: Uzbek kids made to grow cocoons
By MANSUR MIROVALEV (AP) – August 30, 2010
KOKAND, Uzbekistan — For one month a year, from morning to night, Dilorom Nishanova grows silkworms, a painstaking and exhausting job. She has been doing it since she was 8.
Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government insists that it has banned child labor but Nishanova, now 15, hasn’t heard about it. She and her siblings, aged 9 to 17, think it’s perfectly natural to be helping their father grow silkworms, as well as cotton and wheat.
“We just help our parents,” she said, her braided dark hair covered with a traditional Muslim scarf. “That’s what children have to do, right?”