India Exclusion and Other Reports: 2013-14

Recently various reports are released by different groups, both by the state as well as civil society organisations, locally and globally. Following is a compilation of all the important reports with its links.

The India Exclusion Report 2013-14 (published by Centre for Equity Studies, CES)  is envisioned as the first of a series of widely collaborative annual reports, involving numerous institutions and individuals working on the issues of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in India.”The report counts around 260 pages and has, besides a very comprehensive introductory chapter, section on school education, urban housing, labour markets, law and justice, budgets and planning, highly excluded groups (transgenders, bonded labourers, Musahars) and statistics.The report can be found here and to Order a hard copy of the report click here.  

Pic India Exclusion Report

Work During Holidays Leads to Bonded Child Labour in Spinning Mills

Recently more than 60 school children between 13 and 16 years of age were found working in spinning mill Shiva Mills in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu. They were recruited by contractors to work during school holidays. But after the summer holiday the company forced them to stay by not paying their 2 months wages. Parents protested in vain.The issue was subsequently taken up by a local union and NGO as well as by UNICEF which led to action by the Inspector of Factories, the Education Ministry and the National Child Labour Programme. Also the local press took up the matter. 18 children were freed but it was discovered that the company had already send 75 children home without their salaries. Efforts are underway to claim their salaries.For more information click here. 

 Regional Level Conference for Textile Industry Affected Young Women Workers

See the report of the Conference which took place on the 17th of June 2014 in Erode, Tamil Nadu, and the demands of the workers. Victims of the Camp Labour Scheme participated in the meeting.See the full report here 

Dutch Trade Minister Wants To Join Hands with EU, ILO, OECD And Indian Government To Tackle Bonded Labour In The Garment Industry

Dutch Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation has reacted extensively to question of parliamentarians of four political parties on ‘garment companies who give no insight in how they deal with bonded (child) labour in India’. The questions were triggered by the report ‘Small Steps – Big Challenges’ of the India Committee of the Netherlands and Dutch trade union federation FNV Mondiaal.See the parliamentary Q & A on the issue here and report ‘Small Steps – Big Challenges’, here.  

Indian and Global Civil Society Under Threat

On May 3, 2014, the Intelligence Bureau’s report on impact of NGOs on development was leaked to the press. The report has accused “foreign-funded” NGOs of “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments” by sponsoring agitations against nuclear and coal-fired power plants and genetically modified organisms across the country.

There is a threat against civil society in many countries across the globe. A comprehensive report on the matter, including observations on India even ‘before Modi’ is: ‘Closing Space: Democracy and Human Rights Support Under Fire’. See articles and report here

New report: The Price of Less Child Labour and Higher Wages

A new publication by the India Committee of the Netherlands – The Price of Less Child Labour and Higher Wages – shows that increasing the price that big seed companies in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh pay to farmers to grow cottonseed has resulted in much higher wages and less child labour in recent years.

From the report: ‘One of the important factors which has contributed to an increase in farm wages is the implementation since 2006 of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act… The interventions by the government, NGOs, UN agencies like UNICEF and some seed companies in recent years addressing the problem of child labour in cottonseed farms in Andhra Pradesh had a positive impact and reduced the availability of children for cottonseed work… The sharp increase in wages in 2010-11 and 2011-12, however, can be largely attributed to significant increase in the procurement prices paid to farmers by the seed companies… Despite increase wages are still below the legal minimum wages … the available data do suggest that the rise in wages had a positive impact on child labour…’’See the full report here.

UN Women Committee raises serious concern on Dalit women and lacking implementation of Laws

In the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), review of India on 2nd July 2014, the issues of Dalit women and girls were brought up by several experts of the Committee and the Committee noted that Dalit women and the lack of implementation of laws were matters of serious concern.

The Indian delegation responded to the concerns raised by the Expert Committee by listing constitutional provisions, legislation and special legislation in place to deal with discrimination and violence against women, also Dalit women.

The Committee responded that while they are aware of the legislation, these laws are not implemented and called on India to address the inadequate implementation of the laws enacted.See full article and reports here.

Compiled by Gerard Oonk, Director, India Committee of the Netherlands. Websites: http://www.indianet.nl/english.html and http://www.dalits.nl/english.html . Email: [email protected]