BSCI Stakeholder Relations took part in a panel discussion ('Round Trip: Exploitation in Indian Mills and Garment Factories - Two Insider Reports') on 28 November 2013 in Hamburg, Germany, invited by the NGO FEMNET, a member of the Clean Clothes Campaign. The panel discussion is part of a nationwide lecture series in Germany around this topic and features speakers Anita Cheria (Munnade) and Maheshwari Murugan (Rights Education and Development Centre (READ)). Both discussed the poor working conditions and labour abuses, such as Sumangali, a forced labour practice that take place in these regions. BSCI joined the panel discussion to offer insight and present BSCI's approach towards the Sumangali scheme and labour abuses that occur in the lower tiers of the Indian textile industry.
The Sumangali scheme contravenes various elements of the BSCI Code of Conduct, in particular in regards to working hours, discrimination, child labour and forced labour, payment of legal minimum wages and/or compliance with industry standards. BSCI provides a number of ways for participants to address labour challenges in the global supply chain. As well as using audits as a monitoring tool and supplier trainings tailored to particular challenges in a certain country or region, the BSCI also initiates and supports stakeholder roundtables to promote dialogue and transparency locally. BSCI has been actively involved in related initiatives, including supporting the Tirupur Stakeholders Forum (TSF), which aimed to address exploitation carried out through practices such as Sumangali and to work out best practices and solutions.
Contact David Weiss, Stakeholder Relations.