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21 Apr 2021

International Dalit Solidarity Network,
Asia Floor Wage Alliance

India: International Dalit Solidarity Network calls on garment brands to implement binding agreement to end caste-based violence against women in supply chains

“Statement by International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and Asia Floor Wage Alliance”, 21 April 2021

International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) echo the call by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights(NCDHR) and Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) on garment brands to negotiate a binding agreement to end systemic gender-based violence that leverages caste discrimination …

Gender-based violence, amplified by unchecked caste-based discrimination in the workplace ultimately led to the murder of Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) member and quality checker Jeyasre Kathiravel by her direct supervisor at Natchi Apparels … Jeyasre’s case was not an isolated incident. Multiple women workers, the majority of whom are Dalits, reported sexual assault, harassment and verbal abuse ... The conditions in this factory show the lethal consequences of intersectional caste and gender-based discrimination.

While we are heartened to know that Jeyasre’s family has reached a mutual agreement on compensation, we believe that brands must continue to work to curb gender and caste-based discrimination and violence at Natchi Apparels …

Partner with the TTCU which is a Dalit women led trade union, to create and implement a long-term solution to gender and caste-based discrimination in the form of a binding and enforceable agreement including freedom of association for all workers.