BSCI has updated its position paper addressing the Sumangali scheme in India. The revised document, based on consultation with the BSCI Stakeholder Council, outlines BSCI's understanding of and approach to this practice, taking into account the new BSCI Code of Conduct.
The Sumangali scheme can lead to exploitative labour practices whereby young female workers are employed in spinning mills under unfair labour conditions. BSCI does not endorse this practice under any guise, and has established a number of control measures to tackle it, should it arise in any participants' supply chain. BSCI has specifically instructed auditors to follow the relevant auditing guidance on Sumangali issued by Social Accountability International (SAI) and they are requested to list all the sub-suppliers that a factory uses and to verify that a functioning management system is in place.
Strengthening cooperation and partnerships with relevant local stakeholders is key for the sustainable improvement of working conditions and is particularly crucial in the case of Sumangali, since it is typically practiced in the lower tiers of India's garment supply chains, making it difficult to identify and address. In this sense, BSCI is currently exploring ways to coordinate its activities with other ongoing initiatives on the ground such as the Ethical Trading Initiative's (ETI) Tamil Nadu Multi-Stakeholder (TNMS) project.
To download the complete position paper, please click here.