Arisa, formerly the India Committee of the Netherlands, is an independent non-governmental human rights organisation that has been working since 1976 to defend human rights in South Asia. Arisa does this through advocacy in politics and companies, research, critical dialogue and social awareness of human rights violations, including issues in production chains. Arisa works closely with local partners and organisations in the Netherlands and other countries.
In 1976, the India Committee of the Netherlands was established in response to the State of Emergency in India, proclaimed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in which…
Arisa works together in coalitions and with local organisations. Below is a list of important partners and networks.
Stop Child Labour
Stop Child Labour (SCL) is a coalition of the General Education Union (Algemene Onderwijsbond, AOb), Dutch trade union Mondiaal FNV, Hivos, ICCO Cooperation and Kerk in Actie, Arisa and Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland. The coalition is coordinated by Hivos and cooperates closely with local organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin-America. Stop Child Labour advocates for good formal education for children and a decent income for adults. In addition, SCL promotes child labour free products by drawing the attention of businesses and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to the need to eliminate child labour and, where possible, collaborating with them.
For more than 20 years, MV Foundation has been combating all forms of child labour in a certain region together with the local population, thus realising child labour free zones. These are areas without child labour, of which there are already hundreds. More than a million children have since been guided from work to school. MV Foundation also trains organisations in India and Africa to combat child labour.
Manjari focuses on the development of women and children through awareness and capacity building in communities. Manjari started its activities for the establishment and reinforcement of Child Labour Free Zones in the sandstone quarry area of Dhabi-Budhpura in 2013.
International Dalit Solidarity Network
A network of international human rights groups, development agencies, national Dalit solidarity networks from Europe, and national platforms in caste-affected countries that jointly fight against caste discrimination through documentation, strategic interventions and lobby action.
The MVO Platform is a network of Dutch civil society organisations and trade unions which are active in the area of responsible business conduct. Arisa is one of the members of the MVO Platform.
Clean Clothes Campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign commissions research into working conditions in the garment industry in different countries, campaigns to convince “clothing brands” to work towards sustainability in their supply chain and supports local organisations with urgent issues. Arisa is an active member of the CCC. Arisa contributes to research and campaigns and maintains contacts with Indian partner organisations. Arisa also brings the campaigns to the attention of ministries and members of Parliament.
The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is a critical, independent, not-for-profit knowledge centre on multinationals. Since 1973 SOMO has investigated multinational corporations and the impact of their activities on people and the environment. Arisa closely collaborates with SOMO on research into sectors and companies.
The Breed Mensenrechten Overleg (BMO) is a partnership of human rights and development organisations based in the Netherlands, including Arisa. Within the BMO, these organisations work together to promote human rights in Dutch foreign policy. In this regard, the BMO focuses primarily on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Parliament.
The Indian NGO Social Awareness and Voluntary Education (SAVE) carries out developmental programs towards uplift of the socio-economically poor and marginalized communities in Tamil Nadu. The organisation is committed to the elimination of child labour, empowerment of women and youth, promotion of fair labour standards, and comprehensive development of both rural and urban poor community.
OECD Watch is a global network of civil society organisations with more than 130 members in over 50 countries, including Arisa. OECD Watch’s key aim is to inform and advise the global NGO community on how to use the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and its associated grievance mechanism to achieve corporate accountability and access to remedy for individuals harmed by corporate misconduct.
Work: No Child’s Business (WNCB) is an alliance of Stop Child Labour (including Arisa), UNICEF Netherlands and Save the Children Netherlands, and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. WNCB aims to achieve that children and youth are free from child labour and enjoy their rights to quality education and (future) decent work. The Alliance works in six countries: Cote d’Ivoire, India, Jordan, Mali, Uganda and Vietnam. In these countries, there are five sectors with a high incidence of child labour: garment, textiles and footwear, gold and mining, natural stones, cocoa and the informal sector including domestic and agricultural work. The Alliance joins forces with communities, schools, governments, civil society organisations, trade unions and private actors, bringing sustainable solutions for children and their families.
Rights Education and Development Centre (READ), an Tamil Nadu based NGO, aims to create a society where everyone has the right to life and dignity, by striving for sustainable change for the most marginalised communities in Tamil Nadu. By working at a community level, READ, together with the district and state authorities, provides quality education and child protection for children through Child Activity Centres. Women have organized, to address gender-based violence and ensure decent working conditions in the textile supply chain, together with government, brands and textile suppliers.
Together with its partners, Arisa is committed to better and fairer working conditions in production chains in South Asia. By conducting research into companies and their chains, we gain insight into the working conditions in these chains. We share these insights with companies, governments and politicians and then work together on solutions.
Focus on the region
The geographical focus of Arisa is shifting from India to South Asia. The political-economic relations of India with countries in the region have become more important. In addition, our themes are not limited to India but also very relevant to other South Asian countries. Discrimination against Dalits occurs throughout South Asia and labour rights violations in the garment and textile industry are a regional problem.