Textile industry takes measures to remove child labour

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 organized a National Seminar on “Eradication of
Child Labour” on a virtual platform on 30th March 2021.  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, M/s. 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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