Reduction of worst forms of child labor in textile supply chains

Background:

India is a monsoonal country with monsoon playing dice with Indian agriculture. This causes fluctuation in rainfall and a country with large population belonging to farming community undergoes number of hardships for survival. This is one of the major reason for prevalence of child labor in our rural society. The most vulnerable people are the marginal farmers and the landless dalit people. Equally affected are the children with single parent or an orphan and girl children born in a family of more number of girl children. Due to these conditions education is viewed as an unwanted expense and number of dropouts increase in this community. So this community is targeted as beneficiaries.

ACTIVITIES 

The victims Æ child labor suffer from a number of health issues including mental stress. So our major activity was creating awareness regarding health issues and counseling to overcome mental trauma.

  1. There were awareness campaigns to ensure them about the labor welfare schemes so that they can question the violation of welfare schemes.
  2. In most cases the amount promised under the scheme of camp coolie scheme or the terminology in whatever it is called is not given as promised, so legal support to get the promised amount is provided.
  3. Sensitized the issue of sexual harassment and other forms of abuse at work place and ensure their basic rights at work place.
The rescued laborers didn’t have alternative employment skills and hence they are trained in vocational training skills.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • As a result of continuous campaign against low wages, daily wages had been increased from Rs.50-70 per day to Rs.100-120 per day and the sum of amount paid at the end of scheme is raised to Rs.65,000-70,000  from Rs.25,000.
  • Conducting conferences with employers made them to realize the ill-effects of bonded labor or similar schemes. As a result about 20-25 mills had abolished it, example being Eastman group and Martin group of mills.
  • Due to continuous lobbying with government regarding increase in minimum wages , Government had amended the minimum wages act increasing the wage amount to Rs.196.50 from Rs.151.50
  • Media campaign at various levels such as regional and international level had sensitized the child labor issues and a number of brands that form part of supply chain of local mills took up the issue and voiced against child labor.
  • In the Coimbatore region Special Police team had been established to deal with sexual abuse at work places including all industries as that of textile mills.
  • About 500 victims had been rehabilitated through vocational skills training such as tailoring, beautician training and computer education. Now they lead a self sufficient and free life. Number of confidence building measures was undertaken and they lead a life of confidence.
  • Legal support to the victims is provided as a result of which 124 cases were filed in which 17 are won and remaining are in process.
  • About 54 students are provided education supports who were drop-outs at various levels.
  • As a result of lobbying the Government’s marriage benefit fund had been increased. For girls who had completed 10th std a sum of Rs.25,000  and   a sum of Rs.50,000  is  given for degree holders along with 4 grams of gold.
  • As a result of continuous campaign, important trade unions such as AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC, Anna Trade Union and LPF are sensitized and they started concentrating on this issue.
  • In the year 2011, 67 victims were provided self employment and this year with government schemes tie-ups 74 victims were provided with employment opportunities.