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October 29-31, 2009

   From October 29-31, 2009 NGO “Sana Sezim”, together with "Human Rights Watch", carried out a raid in the cotton fields of the Makhtaral district of the South Kazakhstan region to identify migrant workers engaged in labor activity in SKO.
   During the raid in the cotton fields it was revealed that the main labor force in cotton are migrant workers and their children, who have arrived from nearby regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan. They come to pick cotton in early October and leave in mid-November at the end of the collection. Most migrant workers arrive in groups of 30-40 people (7-8 families) and go to the same employer for several years. The migrants who come for the first time to work in Kazakhstan, are employed on the recommendation of migrants who have worked in Kazakhstan before. They come because of difficult financial situations and lack of work at home. If they have a job, then it is always low paid.
   They work from early morning until sunset. Adults collect daily from 90 kg to 120 kg, and children from 50 kg to 80 kg. For each 1 kg of cotton, they recieve 8-10 tenge. The employer also provides three meals, accommodation, medicine, and other necessary expenses (bath accessories, cigarettes, etc…).
   According to the local population the flow of migrant workers to harvest cotton has decreased this year, compared to previous years. The reason for this is the difficulty in crossing the border and reduced prices for raw cotton in Kazakhstan.