A final report on the 2015 cotton harvest in Turkmenistan says the government this year forced more people to pick cotton and ramped up the pressure to deliver harvest quotas in response to a late and low-yield harvest.

According to human rights group Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN), tens of thousands of citizens were mobilised to pick cotton, including students and even teachers. Children were also co-opted into the harvest in one particular area.

The group, which is a member of the Cotton Campaign, said the 2015 cotton harvest began in August but was hit by floods, drought and broken irrigation systems – and that the Turkmen government's response to a delayed and long cotton harvest was to pressure local officials to rally more people to the cotton fields.

Local officials and administrators enforced harvest quotas rigorously, demanding the cotton either be picked or paid for, and forced thousands to continue working in the fields in the cold as late as the second half of December.

ATN says Turkmenistan continued to violate its international obligations under the conventions of the And it is again calling on the Government of Turkmenistan to enforce national laws that prohibit forced labour, permit citizens to report human rights concerns about the use of forced labour without fear of retaliation; and invite the ILO to monitor the 2016 cotton harvest with unfettered access.

It also wants to see reform in the country's cotton sector, including by ending mandatory cotton production and harvest quotas and ceasing to penalise farmers and citizens who do not fulfil assigned quotas; ensuring financial transparency of cotton expenditures and revenues; and raising and eventually freeing cotton procurement prices.