Brief and recommendations in relation to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights – 29 November- 1 December The rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit factory worker has attracted attention to poor working conditions and caste- and gender-based inequalities in India’s garment industry.
On 1 January, Jeyasri Kathirvel, a 21-year-old garment-factory worker from Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, was murdered. Jeyasri, who is Dalit, was working in the district’s Kaithayankottai village, at the Natchi Apparel factory—a unit of Eastman Exports, India’s fourth-largest garment-export company.
In connection with their participation in the 44th Human Rights Council session, states are encouraged to consider the ongoing and systemic practice of discrimination based on work and descent, also known as caste-based discrimination, affecting more than 260 million people globally.
Despite efforts to curb child slavery in India’s spinning mills the practice continues and 60% of the victims are Dalits – says newly released report.
The girl, employed by a spinning mill was brutally attacked by the mill owners after trying to escape – says NGO demanding the arrest of the owners.
REPORT - Caste and Gender-Based Forced and Bonded Labour from UN HRC29 IDSN SIDE-EVENT 18th June 2015, 17.00-18.30
A report following up on modern slavery in Indian spinning mills, finds that despite initiatives launched to end conditions of forced labour, the situation remains alarming. Efforts of clothing brands and retailers to end this, lack scale and conviction. Due to their marginalised status and lack of alternative opportunities, the majority of girls working in these factories are Dalits.
One hundred and fifty workers from five spinning mills were interviewed for the report, which reveals that girls as young as 15 are being recruited from marginalised Dalit communities in impoverished rural areas in India. They are lured with promises of decent jobs, good wages and a lump-sum payment. But the reality is a 68-hour working week, poverty wages, no contracts or payslips, and being locked inside factory and dormitory compounds during working and non-working hours.
Dalit girls exploited in India's garment industry A new report finds that Dalit girls in India's garment industry live with very limited freedom of movement, are underpaid for long working-days and working under hazardous conditions. Despite efforts to curb the ‘Sumangali Scheme’ exploiting young Dalit girls – it continues unabated.
In Sumangali employment schemes, young, unmarried, predominantly dalit women (60%) are employed in garment manufacturing units to enable their families to pay their dowries. In reality, schemes such as this translate to bonded labour. Wages are paid only when workers complete a 3-5 year contract period.
After meeting India's sumangali girls I will never look at cute, cheap clothes the same way again. "Workers themselves hardly ever report abuse, in part because many come from lower castes, including the dalit, or untouchables." By Dana Liebelson