BSCI responds to Sumangali report 'Maid in India'

26-04-2012

On 25 April a joint report entitled ‘Maid in India’ was released by Dutch organisations, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN). ‘Maid in India’ follows up on SOMO and ICN’s initial research ‘Captured by Cotton’, released in May 2011 which highlighted the poor conditions imposed on Dalit girls in the garment industry in India. In the conclusions of the report, actions from producers and companies were requested along with recommended actions for companies. ‘Maid in India’ follows up on this report and evaluates to what degree these actions have been implemented. The conclusions of ‘Maid in India’ reveal that there have been some improvements at the producers involved in their case studies; either they have phased out the Sumangali Scheme entirely or the producer has improved freedom of movement and increased wages. However, no significant improvements were found in terms of working hours of forced overtime. The report calls for an increased movement amongst stakeholders to act against abuses of the Sumangali Scheme. BSCI participating companies are committed to improving working conditions in their global supply chains, and to addressing labour abuses that can be associated with the Sumangali Scheme. BSCI is aware of these abuses and works closely with its participating companies, auditors and consultants to raise awareness, provide guidance, and build knowledge of these issues and how to tackle them. BSCI continues to work with local and international stakeholders in order to build a common and coordinated approach to solving poor working conditions at the local level in India. We believe that together we can find solutions to labour issues that affect workers worldwide.

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