Indian textile industry takes measures to remove child labour

Indian textile industry takes measures to remove child labour

Eradicating child labour in any form of employment is an important issue across the world. All the major importing countries, especially United States of America in particular, are very sensitive to this issue.

Eradicating child labour in any form of employment is
an important issue across the world. All the major
importing countries, especially United States of America in
particular, are very sensitive to this issue. The Bureau of
International Labour Force of United States Department of
Labour (US DoL) restricts imports of goods appearing in the
list of goods on the source countries produced by child
labour or forced labour violating International Labour
Standards. In the list published on 30th September 2020,
the US DoL has included Indian cotton seeds, cotton,
thread/ yarn besides other commodities based on the
reports published by certain NGOs. The Indian companies
have been advised to monitor and ensure that no child
labour/forced labour is being employed within own
organization or with the supplier’s / buyer’s organizations.

Against this background, the Cotton Textiles Export
Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL), Employers Federation of
Southern India (EFSI), Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and The
Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) jointly organised a
National Seminar on “Eradication of Child Labour” on a
virtual platform recently. Stakeholders across the country
from the textile value chain attended the seminar.

Manojkumar Patodia, Chairman, TEXPROCIL
inaugurated the seminar and highlighted the need for
eradicating child labour employment, the actions being
taken by US DoL, the magnitude of sensitivity and the need
for not only de-listing cotton seeds, cotton, thread / yarn
from the list, but also the need for social accountability
and the need for taking care of children.

Siddhartha Rajagopal, Executive Director, TEXPROCIL
highlighted the importance of addressing the child labour
issue and procedures for de-listing the goods from US
Trafficking Victims Protection Re-organization Act (TVPR)
list. He also briefed the steps to be initiated by textile
export promotion councils and industry Associations in the
preparation of dossiers by engaging third party agency
study, collection of data from the Department of Labour,
collection of information from NGOs, adopting code of
conduct and strictly adhering to labour laws to eradicate
child labour, etc.

Rana Alok Singh, Regional Director, South Asia, ETI
briefed about the role played by ETI in social accountability
and social auditing and also gave various inputs for
eradicating child labour. K Varadan, Chief Consultation
Officer, Aparajitha Corporate Services (P) Limited and State
Committee Member of EFSI, deliberated on legal provisions
against employment of child labour and employment of
adolescent labour especially in the textile industry.

V Regurajan, Legal Advisor, SIMA, deliberated on the
employer’s liability on employment. K Manickam,
Secretary General, EFSI briefed about the role played by
EFSI, SIMA and occasionally with ILO and other
organizations in the area of labour law compliance and
eradication of child labour.

Sanjay Kumar, Executive Director cum Secretary, Carpet
Export Promotion Council shared the problems faced by
them with regard to child labour, steps initiated by them
to eradicate the same. He said that they have made
registration of all carpet looms and adopting code of
conduct for eradication of child labour, a mandatory one
apart from introducing various welfare facilities, lobbying
US DoL, etc.

K Selvaraju, Secretary General, SIMA, moderated the
session and briefed about the labour employment code
and conduct recommended by SIMA and also the role
played by The British Standards Institution in getting the
star rating. He stated that the Code will facilitate any
textile manufacturing unit to protect itself from any
criticism from the NGOs and also other stakeholders. SIMA
has established a Sustainability Cell that helps textile mills
for auditing and certificate of employment code, apart
from assisting the mills in compliance. SIMA is also having
continuous dialogues with various stakeholders and for
eradication of child labour. He also informed that SIMA
has developed a draft Code on the eradication of child
labour for the employer’s compliance.

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