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1 Jul 2012

SOMO / India Committee of the Netherlands

[PDF] Bonded (child) labour in the South Indian Garment Industry: An Update of Debate and Action on the ‘Sumangali Scheme’

…[T]he Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN)… published two major reports [‘Captured by Cotton’, 2011 and ‘Maid in India’, 2012] documenting the exploitation of Dalit girls in the South Indian garment industry that produces for European and US markets. This update zooms in on on-going abuses in the Tamil Nadu garment industry, as well as on the debate and actions to tackle the ‘Sumangali Scheme’ [bonded labour], that is fuelled by the findings and recommendations of the SOMO and ICN reports…Pressure from active brands on their suppliers has brought about some improvements in employment and labour conditions on the work floor and in workers hostels, but major labour abuses continue to occur…[and] public concern about these violations is growing.…[T]he majority of the brands…have not taken any action so far… [refers to Primark, Inditex (Zara, Pull and Bear, and other brands), Tesco, C&A, Diesel, Marks & Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Quicksilver, Cristal Martin (suppliers to Mothercare, Next), American Eagle Outfitters and Philips-Van Heusen (Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein)]. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies against which allegations were raised to respond. Diesel, Eastman, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, Quicksilver and Tesco responses are below. Next declined to respond. Ralph Lauren did not respond].