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28 Feb 2018

India: Report finds female migrant workers are subjected to conditions of modern slavery in factories supplying to garment brands; incl. co responses

"Labour without Liberty", a report by India Committee of the Netherlands, Clean Clothes Campaign and Garment Labour Union, looks into the living conditions in Bangalore garment factory hostels and the particular challenges migrant workers face. The study found that five out of the eleven ILO indicators for forced labour exist in the Bangalore garment industry: abuse of vulnerability, deception as a result of false promises (wages etc.), restriction of movement in the hostel, intimidation and threats, and abusive working and living conditions. While some of these aspects are also felt by the local workforce, they are more strongly experienced by migrant workers. According to the report, the factories studied produce for several large international brands.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the brands named to comment, of which seven responded: C&A, Columbia, Decathlon, Gap, H&M, PVH and Marks & Spencer. Their responses are available below.

The following companies did not respond to our invitation to comment: Abercrombie & Fitch, Benetton and Levi Strauss.

Company Responses

Columbia Sportswear View Response
Decathlon View Response
Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) View Response
Marks & Spencer View Response
Benetton Group

No Response

Abercrombie & Fitch

No Response

PVH (Phillips-Van Heusen) View Response
Levi Strauss

No Response