Textile Recycling Unravelled
At a time when the recycling of materials and the drive to achieve a circular economy are high on the agenda, textile collector and social entrepreneur Sympany and NGO Arisa publish the report “Textile recycling unravelled”. The report shows that the textile recycling chain is complex and involves risks on child labour and poor working conditions. It focuses on the city of Panipat in India, where a substantial part of the economy depends on the recycling of imported used textiles, including from The Netherlands. Sympany and Arisa call on businesses involved in these textile recycling chains to take their responsibility and address the existing risks.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Sandstone is widely used in Europe as cobblestones. This report shows that progress has been made as compared to the findings of Arisa in 2005. Child labour has been greatly reduced in the quarries, but it is still common, especially in the cobblestone making in home yards. In addition to child labour, the study also looked at paying minimum wages. The situation here is a lot less positive. Women in particular are discriminated against because they are given other jobs – for which less is paid – than men. The report also shows that silicosis, an incurable lung disease, is a major problem which receives far too little attention.
New report published by Arisa, with a hopeful message. The report “Sowing Hope” shows that in the past five years important steps have been taken to combat child labour in the cottonseed and vegetable seed production in India. Child labour declined, particularly in areas where significant interventions took place to address the issue.
In addition to child labour, the study also examined the payment of minimum wages. The outcome was less positive. The gap between prevailing wages and minimum wages has increased. Particularly women are paid below the minimum wage and are also discriminated against because they are given other – less paid – tasks than men.
Remedies for Indian seed workers in sight?
This report of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) reveals that despite progress in addressing child labour, seed companies have not fully addressed the issue yet and are largely failing to take sufficient measures to address non-payment of minimum wages, especially for women.
Case closed, problems persist
Social Accountability International (SAI) – a social certification organisation for factories and organisations, and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) – an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working to improve the lives of workers – have failed to deliver on promises to deal effectively with concrete complaints about abusive labour conditions for girls and young women in the textile and garment industry in South India.
This is the finding of an analysis of the non-judicial complaint mechanisms set up by ETI and SAI presented in a report by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), SOMO and UK-based HomeWorkers Worldwide (HWW).
Labour without liberty
Female migrants employed in India’s garment factories supplying to big international brands like Benetton, C&A, GAP, H&M, Levi’s, M&S and PVH, are subject to conditions of modern slavery. In Bangalore, India’s biggest garment producing hub, young women are recruited with false promises about wages and benefits, they work in garment factories under high-pressure for low wages. Their living conditions in hostels are poor and their freedom of movement is severely restricted. Claiming to be eighteen at least, many workers look much younger. These are some conclusions from this report by ICN, CCC and GLU.
The dark sites of granite
New research, commissioned by the India Committee of the Netherlands and Stop Child Labour, reveals that modern slavery, low wages, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions are rampant in granite quarries in South India. In some quarries, especially in waste stone processing, child labour is found.
There is an enormous gap in working conditions between permanent workers (mainly supervisors) and casual workers (70% of the workforce). The first group receives safety equipment, insurance and an employment contract, while the casual labourers doing the dangerous manual work, lack those fundamental labour rights.