India Committee of the Netherlands
+++ In solidarity with the oppressed in India +++

2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - <2000
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Nov 2018:
Remedies for Indian seed workers in sight? - Monitoring report on tackling child labour and non-payment of minimum wages in hybrid cotton and vegetable seeds production in India (REPORT ICN/Stop Child Labour):
The report Remedies for Indian seed workers in sight? of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) reveals that despite progress in addressing child labour, seed companies have not fully addressed the issue yet and are largely failing to take sufficient measures to address non-payment of minimum wages, especially for women.

Jun 2018:
Case Closed, Problems Persist : Grievance mechanisms of ETI and SAI fail to benefit young women and girls in the South Indian textile industry (REPORT HWW/SOMO/ICN):
This report finds that complaint mechanisms have not remedied labour rights violations affecting girls and young women.
Social Accountability International (SAI) – a social certification organisation for factories and organisations, and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) – an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working to improve the lives of workers – have failed to deliver on promises to deal effectively with concrete complaints about abusive labour conditions for girls and young women in the textile and garment industry in South India.
This is the finding of an analysis of the non-judicial complaint mechanisms set up by ETI and SAI that is presented in Case Closed, Problems Persist – a report by three NGOs: the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and UK-based HomeWorkers Worldwide (HWW).

Jan 2018:
Labour Without Liberty – Female Migrant Workers in Bangalore's Garment Industry (REPORT ICN/Clean Clothes Campaign/Garment Labour Union):
Female migrants employed in India’s garment factories supplying to big international brands like Benetton, C&A, GAP, H&M, Levi’s, M&S and PVH, are subject to conditions of modern slavery. In Bangalore, India’s biggest garment producing hub, young women are recruited with false promises about wages and benefits, they work in garment factories under high-pressure for low wages. Their living conditions in hostels are poor and their freedom of movement is severely restricted. Claiming to be eighteen at least, many workers look much younger.
These are some conclusions from the report Labour Without Liberty – Female Migrant Workers in Bangalore's Garment Industry.

[abstract report] [report in Catalan: Treball sense llibertat]

Aug 2017:
The Dark Sites of Granite : Modern slavery, child labour and unsafe work in Indian granite quarries - What should companies do? (REPORT ICN/Stop Child Labour/Kerk in Actie):
New research, commissioned by the India Committee of the Netherlands and Stop Child Labour, reveals that modern slavery, low wages, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions are rampant in granite quarries in South India. In some quarries, especially in waste stone processing, child labour is found.
There is an enormous gap in working conditions between permanent workers (mainly supervisors) and casual workers (70% of the workforce). The first group receives safety equipment, insurance and an employment contract, while the casual labourers doing the dangerous manual work, lack those fundamental labour rights.

[summary report] / [Zusammenfassung Rapport]

Mar 2017:
Do leather workers matter? Violating labour rights and environmental norms in India’s leather production (REPORT ICN):
Around 2,5 million workers in the Indian leather industry often face unacceptable working conditions that violate their human rights and seriously affect their health. Toxic chemicals used in tanneries often very negatively impact the health of the workers. Less known are the many labour and other human rights issues in the leather industry like wages below the stipulated minimum wage, child labour, the exploitation of home-based workers, the difficulty to organize in trade unions and the discrimination of Dalits (‘outcastes’).

Dec 2016:
Fabric of Slavery - Large-scale forced (child) labour in India's spinning mills (PAPER ICN):
New research by the India Committee of Netherlands (ICN) shows that various forms of modern slavery, including child slavery, are found in more than 90% of the spinning mills in South India. These spinning mills produce yarn for India, Bangladeshi and Chinese garment factories that produce for the Western market.
The report Fabric of Slavery exposes the scale on which young girls and women are enslaved by employers who withhold their wages or lock them up in company-controlled hostels. They work long hours, face sexual harassment and do not even earn the minimum wage. Gerard Oonk, director of ICN: "We have raised the issue for five years now, but even to us the scale of this problem came as a shock."

Dec 2016:
No Sexual Harassment - The fight against sexual violence at work (BROCHURE ICN/Mondiaal FNV):
The battle between the sexes is of all time, and in some species the combat is a bitter one. Take the near-drowning of the female duck when being mounted by a rutting drake, or the female spider that eats the male after mating. We humans do things differently, or so we think. Here and there, the equality of men and women leaves a lot to be desired, but in no country is sexual violence considered normal. Or is it?
Reality is more stubborn. In the garment factories in the South-Indian city of Bangalore, for example, where sexual assault and rape are the order of the day, one in seven female workers is coerced into sexual acts or sexual intercourse.
Brochure of the India Committee of the Netherlands and Mondiaal FNV on sexual violence at work. Published on the occasion of a meeting of international experts - mainly women - from Bangladesh, India, Argentina, Tanzania, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Sep 2016:
Doing Dutch: A research into the state of pay for workers in garment factories in India working for Dutch fashion brands (REPORT Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN):
The working conditions in factories in India that produce for Dutch clothing brands are downright bad. No garment worker earns a living wage. More than one third of the workers not even gets the official minimum wage. Mandatory overtime is often not paid, intimidation is widespread and women earn even less than men. Also, some factories do not take care of social insurances and medical expenses. That, and more, emerges from the study Doing Dutch – Research into the state of pay for workers in garment factories in India working for Dutch fashion brands published by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands.

Aug 2016:
Certified Unilever Tea - A Cup Half Empty: Follow-up study on working conditions in Rainforest Alliance certified tea plantations in India (REPORT ICN):
The report Certified Unilever Tea - A Cup Half Empty, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), provides evidence that working conditions at two Rainforest Alliance (RA) certified Indian tea estates providing tea to Unilever have improved but continue to be not ‘up to standard’, in particular for casual workers. Wages – between €3 and just over €4 – are far less than a living wage of around €7.50. Casualization of the workforce substantially increased, most of them migrants or retired permanent workers. They do not receive the same social benefits as permanent workers.
Even though RA and Unilever put into place measures to improve labour conditions at these tea estates in response to non-compliances found in 2010, there are still many issues found that are not in line with the standards used by RA and that require immediate attention. Since 2010 conditions for workers on both Havukal and Kairbetta estates have somewhat improved. However serious problems were found related to unequal benefits for casual workers, inadequate compensation for overtime working hours, insufficient precautions in chemical handling (e.g. non-mandatory use of personal protective equipment) and lack of freedom of association and worker representation.

Jan 2016:
Unfree and Unfair - Poor Living Conditions and Restricted Freedom of Movement of Young Migrant Garment Workers in Bangalore (PAPER ICN):
The paper Unfree and Unfair gives evidence of appalling living conditions and restricted freedom of movement of young migrant garment workers in the Indian city of Bangalore. An increasing number of young migrant women workers are staying in factory-owned hostels with poor living conditions while their movement is severely restricted. The wages of the workers do not add up to a decent living wage.
The hostels are run by garment factories in Bangalore that produce for leading multinational brands like C&A, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Inditex and GAP. These companies promised a number of specific actions to provide migrant garment workers with better living conditions in Bangalore.

Nov 2015:
Soiled Seeds : Child Labour and Underpayment of Women in Vegetable Seed Production in India (REPORT ICN):
Almost 156,000 Indian children are producing vegetable seeds (tomato, hot pepper, okra), of which 50,000 are below 14 years of age. The large majority of them are either Dalits, low caste or Adivasi (tribals). All of them are exposed to harsh working conditions, including poisonous pesticides and long working days. They mostly drop out of school between 11 and 13 years of age. The number of adolescent children (14 to 18) increased with more than 37,000.
Multinationals like Limagrain (French), Sakata (Japanese), Advanta (Indian) and East-West Seed (Dutch) had between 10 and 16% children below 14 years working at farmers producing seeds for them. Indian companies show similar figures. All companies have around 30% adolescents working on supplier farms.

Jul 2015:
Cotton's Forgotten Children: Child Labour and below Minimum Wages in Hybrid Cottonseed Production in India (REPORT ICN/Stop Child Labour):
Almost half a million Indian children are working to produce the cottonseed that is the basis for our garments and all the other textile products that we use. Around 200,000 of them are below 14 years of age. This is one of the shocking results of the new study Cotton's Forgotten Children by India's long-term expert on the issue, Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu.
It is equally shocking that the number of children working in the cotton seed fields has increased with almost 100,000 since the last all-India study on this issue in 2010. Children's below 14 constitute around 25% of the workforce on the fields of the farmers that supply their seeds to both Indian and multinational companies. Another 35% of the workforce are children between 14 and 18 years of age.

mei 2015:
Rock Bottom - Modern Slavery and Child Labour in South Indian Granite Quarries (REPORT ICN/Stop Child Labour):
Modern slavery is widespread in Indian quarries. Child labour also occurs frequently. Most Dutch importers of Indian granite give no information from which quarries they are sourcing their granite or say they do not know from which quarries the stone comes from.
This is the main outcome of the report Rock Bottom - Modern Slavery and Child Labour in South Indian Granite Quarries on working conditions in South Indian granite quarries which is published by the India Committee of the Netherlands in collaboration with the coalition Stop Child Labour.

Oct 2014:
Flawed Fabrics – The abuse of girls and women workers in the South Indian textile industry (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
Flawed Fabrics – a report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) – shows that workers are still facing appalling labour conditions that amount to forced labour in the export-oriented Southern Indian textile industry. The women and girls who work in the spinning mills of Tamil Nadu, some as young as 15, are mostly recruited from marginalised Dalit communities in impoverished rural areas. They are forced to work long hours for low wages. They live in very basic company-run hostels and are hardly ever allowed to leave the company compound. The researched spinning mills have Western companies and Bangladesh garment factories among their customers, including C&A, Mothercare, HanesBrands, Sainsbury's and Primark.

Jun 2014:
The Price of Less Child Labour and Higher Wages - Do seed companies in India enable their farmers payment of legal minimum wages? (REPORT ICN):
The ICN publication 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.
Between 2010 and 2013, the multinational and national companies paid almost 50% more per unit to cottonseed farmers while farm workers' wages rose by over 85%. Over the period 2004-2013, wages increased by over 300% and the inflation rate was 100%. Wages in 2003 were so low that despite the substantial wage increase the daily wage (currently about € 1.65) is still more than 40% below the official minimum wage.

Mar 2014:
‘Small Steps - Big Challenges’ - Update on (tackling) exploitation of girls and young women in the garment industry of South India (PAPER FNV Mondiaal/ICN):
Most Dutch and international companies importing garments from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu refuse to be transparent about if and how they tackle bonded labour at their suppliers. An estimated 100,000 young children and teenage girls are victims of 'bonded labour' or 'modern slavery'. These girls - mostly Dalit ('outcaste') - live in hostels, with little freedom of movement, underpaid for long working-days and working under unhealthy conditions.
This is an important conclusion of the paper Small Steps, Big Challenges - Update on (tackling) exploitation of girls and young women in the garment supply chain of South India that FNV Mondiaal (international department of Dutch trade union confederation) and the India Committee of the Netherlands have published. The report discusses the current situation in Tamil Nadu, the limited improvements after previous reports and the responses of 21 Dutch and international garment brands on the question of what they do to combat the abuses. It also discusses the activities of various joint initiatives by companies and other organisations.

Jun 2013:
A Tale of Two Companies: The difference between action and inaction in combating child labour (REPORT ICN/Stop Child Labour):
The Indian company Bejo Sheetal, joint venture partner of Bejo Seeds from The Netherlands, tolerates widespread child labour at the farmers who supply seeds to them. The farmers providing seeds to Nunhems India - part of Nunhems Netherlands - work almost without using child labourers younger than 14.
This is the main conclusion from the report A Tale of Two Companies – The difference between action and inaction in combating child labour, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the campaign 'Stop Child Labour - School is the best place to work'.
The Dutch vegetable seed company Bejo Seeds is as a joint venture partner of Bejo Sheetal jointly responsible for the extensive child labour on the fields in India. A sample taken from 30 farmers who supply to Bejo Sheetal shows that 18% of the workers who grow pepper seeds are children under 14. In the cultivation of tomato seeds this is 12%. The large-scale child labour was also evident from the report Growing up in the danger fields published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), in 2010. The current situation has hardly improved.

This report also includes a reprint of No Child Labour - Better Wages: Impact of elimination of child labour on wages and working conditions of adult labour (REPORT ICN/FNV Mondiaal) (previously published in Nov 2010)

Mar 2013:
Time for Transparency: The case of the Tamil Nadu textile and garment industry (PAPER SOMO/ICN):
In recent years, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) conducted research into labour rights abuses in the textile and garment industry in Tamil Nadu, India. It became clear that the linkages between the investigated manufacturers and their clientele are very complex, and difficult to unravel. Local factories, well-known clothing brands and retailers only rarely make public who their business partners are. It is difficult to find out where exactly clothing brands source their products. Although, according to international guidelines, enterprises have to map their supply chain and make this information accessible to stakeholders, most companies simply do not come forward with this kind of information. In this latest paper on the Indian textile industry, Time for Transparency, SOMO and ICN elaborate on why the garment industry has to become more transparent. In addition, SOMO and ICN show buyer-supplier connections within the industry that normally remain hidden for consumers and other stakeholders.

Dec 2012:
Wages of Inequality - Wage Discrimination and Underpayment in Hybrid Seed Production in India (REPORT Fair Labor Association/ICN):
This report is based on field research by Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu and Mr. Jacob Kalle into the wages of labourers - women, men and children - who are growing cotton and vegetable seed in four Indian states. They are working for farmers that supply their seeds to Indian as well as multinational companies. The latter are – among others - Monsanto, Syngenta, Dupont, US Agri, East-West Seeds, Bayer, Advanta and Bejo Sheetal.

Jul 2012:
Bonded (child) labour in the South Indian Garment Industry: An Update of Debate and Action on the 'Sumangali Scheme' (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
In a year time, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) have published two major reports documenting the exploitation of Dalit girls in the South Indian garment industry that produces for European and US markets.
This update zooms in on on-going abuses in the Tamil Nadu garment industry, as well as on the debate and actions to tackle the `Sumangali Scheme´, that is fuelled by the findings and recommendations of the SOMO and ICN reports.
In May 2011, SOMO and ICN published Captured by Cotton. This report evoked considerable company responses and promises for improving the documented labour rights violations. Almost a year later `Maid in India´ was issued, in which SOMO and ICN together with local human rights groups continue to monitor the commitments of brands, trade associations and CSR initiatives to take concrete action.

Apr 2012:
Maid in India – Young Dalit Women Continue to Suffer Exploitative Conditions in India’s Garment Industry (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
European and US garment brands and retailers have failed in their attempts to improve labour conditions across the board at their suppliers in Tamil Nadu, South India. Despite corporate promises and a range of well-meaning initiatives workers, mostly very young women, continue to suffer exploitative working conditions. Up till today, thousands of women in the garment and textile industry in Tamil Nadu work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour.
These are the findings by SOMO and ICN presented in the report Maid in India, published April 25, 2012.

Mar 2012:
Still 'Captured by Cotton'? – Update on exploitation of women workers in the garment industry in Tamil Nadu, South India (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) presented this sneak preview of their upcoming report on labour abuses in the South Indian garment industry. The two-pager preview is published on the occasion of a meeting of the Sumangali Bonded Labour group of the UK-based Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). SOMO and ICN call upon garment brands to take their responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout their supply chain.
In May 2011 SOMO and ICN published the report Captured by Cotton – Exploited Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets. The report uncovered troubling evidence that products for big garment brands and retailers are being made by girls from Dalit and low caste background under exploitative working conditions in Tamil Nadu, South India. In April 2012, publication of a follow-up report by SOMO and ICN is scheduled. New field research has been conducted, including interviews with nearly 200 women workers. The new report examines the current situation at the four garment manufacturers originally investigated for Captured by Cotton. Following the first report, SOMO and ICN have looked at what the industry promised to undertake to curb labour abuses, what has actually been achieved, and to what effect.

Oct 2011:
Certified Unilever Tea – Small Cup, Big Difference? (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
Workers picking tea for Unilever in India and Kenya are subject to precarious working conditions and labor rights violations, even though this tea carries the Rainforest Alliance certificate. This is an important finding from the report Certified Unilever Tea - Small cup, big difference? released by SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).
Tea pickers on Unilever's own plantation in Kenya suffer from corruption and sexual harassment by blackmailing supervisors, as well as from poor housing and discrimination. Also, many workers complained that the company systematically deprives them of a permanent contract with better benefits through the practice of firing employees for a minimum period of one month and then rehiring them.

May 2011:
Captured by Cotton – Exploited Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets (REPORT SOMO/ICN):
This report highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry. The Sumangali Scheme equals bonded labour, on the basis of the fact that employers are unilaterally holding back part of the workers’ wages until three or more years of work have been completed. In addition, workers are severely restricted in their freedom of movement and privacy. Workers work in unsafe and unhealthy circumstances. Local and international NGOs have reported extensively on the Sumangali Scheme. Inevitably, brands and retailers sourcing from Tamil Nadu have Sumangali workers in their supply chain. ICN and SOMO denounce the Sumangali Scheme as outright unacceptable and are of the opinion that sourcing companies have a responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout their supply chain.


Jun 2010:
Growing Up in the Danger Fields: Child and Adult Labour in Vegetable Seed Production in India (REPORT ILRF/ICN/Stop Child Labour):
More than half a million children in India below 18 years are growing cottonseed and vegetable seeds under hazardous conditions, including very long working hours and exposure to pesticides. Around 230.000 of them are below 14 years of age. They produce the seed on the land of small and marginal farmers, which multinational and Indian seed companies use to outsource their hybrid seed production.
Child labour below age 14 in cottonseed production, although still a huge problem, has decreased in India by 25%. The decline is greater in areas where the MV Foundation (an NGO) and companies like Bayer and Monsanto have made efforts to eliminate it.
These are some key outcomes of two new field-based research studies that where published today by the India Committee of the Netherlands, the International Labour Rights Forum and the campaign ‘Stop Chid Labour - School is the best place to work’. Both studies by Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu covered more than 90% of total Indian cotton and vegetable production in the states of: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for cottonseed and Gujarat, Karnataka en Maharashtra for tomato, pepper, okra and brinjal (egg-plant) seeds.

Sep 2007:
Child Bondage Continues in Indian Cotton Supply Chain: More than 400,000 children in India involved in hybrid cottonseed cultivation (REPORT OECD Watch/DWHH/ICN/EWN NRW/ILRF):
More than 416.000 children under the age of 18, of which almost 225.000 younger than 14, are involved in (often bonded) child labour in India’s cottonseed fields. Most of them are girls. They work in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Compared to the 2003-2004 harvest season the total number of working children has risen. It only decreased in Andhra Pradesh because of local and international pressure.
These are some important results from the study Child bondage continues in Indian cotton supply chain, published on behalf of the India Committee of the Netherlands ICN), the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF, USA), OECD Watch, German Agro-Action and OneWorld Net NRW (Germany). The report is based on field research and has been written by well-known expert Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu, director of Glocal Research, who authored several other reports on this issue since 2001.

Jun 2007:
Seeds of Change: Impact of Interventions by Bayer and Monsanto on the Elimination of Child Labour on Farms Producing Hybrid Cottonseed in India (REPORT OECD Watch/DWHH/ICN/EWN NRW/ILRF):
Multinational companies Bayer and Monsanto have, under a combination of local and international pressure, began to tackle the issue of child labour in their cotton seed supply chain in India. However, both companies are still unprepared to tackle the issue in other states in which they are expanding their production.
This is the conclusion of the report, titled Seeds of Change. The author Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu assesses the follow-up by the two companies on commitments to a joint action plan. The report is released in advance of World Day Against Child Labor taking place on June 12.

Sep 2006:
From Quarry to Graveyard - Corporate social responsibility in the natural stone sector (REPORT CREM/ICN/SOMO):
Inhuman labour conditions and wide scale environmental damage are part and parcel of natural stone production in India. This is the message of the report "From Quarry to Graveyard - Corporate social responsibility in the natural stone sector” published by the India Committee of the Netherlands. The report describes the Dutch natural stone trade and details how Dutch companies and trade organisations are starting to take an interest in corporate social responsibility.
Heavy and unsafe work, substandard wages, child labour, bonded labour, discrimination of Dalits (‘outcastes’, officially termed ‘scheduled castes’ ) and Adivasi (tribal populations) seem to be are part and parcel of the production and processing of natural stone in India. The report describes environmental damage such as disturbance of water systems, loss of agricultural and forest lands, irresponsible waste disposal and high emissions of dust particles. Not to mention widespread illegal quarrying and corruption.

Mar 2006:
Sustainabilitea: The Dutch Tea Market and Corporate Social Responsibility (REPORT SOMO/ProFound/ICN):
Worldwide, and also in the Netherlands, tea is a popular beverage. Tea grows in tropical and subtropical countries, and several developing countries are strongly dependent on tea for their export earnings. Over the last decades, several tea-producing countries have increased their production levels, which has resulted in an worldwide oversupply of tea. Since 1980, the real price of tea has fallen by at least 15 percent. With falling prices and rising input costs, there is pressure to limit the labour costs of workers in the production of tea. At the same time there is an urgent need for improvement of labour, social, ecological and economic conditions throughout the tea sector in the global south.
The first part of the report provides an overview of the global tea market and a description of a tea value chain. In particular, the report focuses on the Dutch tea market: consumption, production and the major players on the Dutch market. The second part of the report examines labour, social, ecological and economic issues in the tea sector. Current responsible business initiatives of mayor players on the Dutch tea market are analysed on the basis of internationally agreed upon standards and operational principles. An overview is also given of the social organisations, including trade unions, active in tea producing and consuming countries.

Dec 2005:
Budhpura 'Ground Zero' - Sandstone quarrying in India (REPORT ICN):
This report, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), is the result of independent research into sandstone quarrying in Budhpura village, Bundi district, Rajasthan state, India.
The report provides information on the quarrying of natural stone in India in general and in Rajasthan in particular as a background to the specifics of sandstone quarrying in Budhpura village. The report digs into the social, economic, and environmental impacts of quarrying for the local population, distinguishing between those who benefit most and those who hardly benefit. It turns out that huge profits are made in this business, but that those who do the hard work do not share in the generated wealth.
Budhpura village is the central focus of this study, but many of the findings apply to the entire natural stone production and export of Rajasthan. The choice for Budhpura as the main focus of this study was made since the Dutch town of Kampen has used sandstone from Budhpura for repaving its city centre. The report informs us that the export of sandstone to the Netherlands is considerable, and increasing.

Oct 2005:
The Price of Childhood - On the link between prices paid to farmers and the use of child labour in cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh (REPORT ICN/International Labor Rights Fund/Eine Welt Netz NRW):
The principal aim of this study is to examine whether or not the procurement price policy of the seed companies has any relationship with the widespread use of child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh. The issue has acquired particular significance in the context of recent debate on this issue where contrasting views are expressed by the seed industry on the one hand, and child rights advocacy/campaign groups and farmers’ organisations on the other.
The issue of child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India has recently received attention from national and international media, government, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), social investor groups, international agencies like ILO/IPEC, UNICEF and UNDP and the seed industry. The uniqueness of the child labour problem in hybrid cottonseed production is that the majority of workers in this sector are children, particularly girls. No other industry in India has such a high proportion of child labour in its workforce. The exploitation of child labour in this industry is linked to larger market forces. Children are employed on a long-term contract basis through advances and loans extended to their parents by local seed farmers. These farmers, in turn, have agreements with seed companies (local, national and trans-national) who produce and market hybrid cotton seeds.

Oct 2004:
Child Labour in Hybrid Cottonseed Production in Andhra Pradesh: Recent Developments (REPORT ICN):
The issue of child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, has recently received national and international media attention. A number of initiatives to address the problem have been undertaken by the Government, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the seed industry and international agencies like ILO-IPEC, UNICEF and UNDP.
The publication of reports by the Business and Community Foundation and Plan International in 2001 and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) in 2003, pointed out the role of large-scale national and multinational seed companies (MNCs) contributing to the problem of child labour in cottonseed sector. A subsequent campaign initiated by NGOs, trade unions and social investors in The Netherlands, Germany, UK and USA has put the multinational companies (MNCs) who are producing and marketing hybrid cottonseeds in India under severe pressure to pay serious attention to the problem. As a result, several national and MNCs acknowledged the problem of child labour in the seed industry and have recently come forward to initiate steps to address the problem. In addition to the seed companies, the state government, local NGOs, and international bodies like ILO-IPEC, UNICEF, UNDP have also initiated several measures to address the problem of child labour in general and cottonseed production in particular. This study is an attempt to critically examine the recent interventions and their impact on the nature and magnitude of the child labour problem in hybrid cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh.

Oct 2004:
Child Labour in Hybrid Cottonseed Production in Gujarat and Karnataka (REPORT ICN):
Hybrid cottonseed is one of the fastest growing industries in India. India is the first country in the world to introduce hybrid varieties in cotton crop for commercial cultivation. In 1970, the world's first cotton hybrid H4 was released for commercial production by the Government of India Cotton Research Station situated at Surat in the state of Gujarat. Since then, a number of new hybrids have entered the market and its use has been rapidly increasing. Approximately 22 million acres of land in India is used for cultivating cotton, out of which 10 million acres (45% of total cotton area) is currently covered under hybrid varieties. The country has earned the distinction of having the largest area under cotton cultivation in the world accounting for 21% of the world's total cotton area and 12% of global cotton production.1 Nearly 95% of the hybrid cottonseed produced in India is used for internal consumption while the remaining is exported mainly to South East Asian countries.

Apr 2003:
Child Labour and Trans-National Seed Companies in Hybrid Cotton Seed Production in Andhra Pradesh (REPORT ICN):
A new system of employing female children as 'bonded labourers' has come into practice on hybrid cottonseed farms in south India in recent years. Local seed farmers, who cultivate hybrid cottonseeds for national and Multinational Seed Companies, secure the labour of girls by offering loans to their parents in advance of cultivation, compelling the girls to work at the terms set by the employer for the entire season, and, in practice, for several years. These girls work long days, are paid very little, are deprived of an education and are exposed for long periods to dangerous agricultural chemicals.
The introduction of hybrid cottonseeds in the early 1970s has brought significant changes in the quantity and quality of cotton production in India. It has not only contributed to the rise in productivity and quality of cotton, but has also helped to generate substantial amount of additional employment in the agricultural sector. Despite its positive contribution, hybrid cottonseed production gave rise to new forms of labour exploitation which involves the employment of female children as bonded labour and large scale exploitation of them. An important feature of hybrid cottonseed production is that it is highly labour intensive and female children are employed in most of its operations.

Jul 2002:
Labour Standards in the Sports Goods Industry in India - with special reference to Child Labour: A Case for Corporate Social Responsibility (REPORT ICN/TATA) (see also summary):
This study seeks to (re)examine the issue/problem of child labour and other labour standards in the football industry in India. This builds upon the previous studies done on the industry in the recent past.
A study on the status of child labour in the industry was done in 1998 by V.V. Giri National Labour Institute (India). In June 2000 the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) published the report The Dark Side of Football - Child and Adult Labour in India's Football Industry and the Role of FIFA. This study showed that the contractual agreements between FIFA and the football manufacturing companies who use FIFA and FIFA-owned logos are violated with regard to almost all the labour rights that are an integral part of those contracts.
As a follow-up to these reports and the FIFA-supported monitoring and rehabilitation programme started in 2000 by the Sports Goods Foundation of India (SGFI), it was deemed fit to re-examine the current status in the industry. ICN contracted the services of the Social Sector Group, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in New Delhi to do an objective assessment of the ground realities.

Jun 2000:
The Dark Side of Football: Child and adult labour in India's football industry and the role of FIFA (REPORT ICN):
This report takes a close look at child labour and working conditions in the sport goods industry in Punjab, India.
It also describes and discusses the various initiatives taken nationally and internationally to tackle these issues. In India the initiatives of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) and the Sports Goods Foundation of India (SGFI) are among the most prominent.
Internationally the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), FIFA and its licensing organization ISL (International Sports and Leisure), the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) as well as the major sports goods companies play an important role. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF are other major players in the field of child rights and labour rights.
This publication is the result of consulting many sources, not only written information but also a number of organizations who are closely involved in the issues at stake.
A very important source of information has been the authoritative report Child labour in the sports goods industry - Jalandhar, A case study based on research conducted by the V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, India.

Nov 1997:
No rose without a thorn: Export flowers from India (REPORT ICN) (Dutch version):
There are plenty of reasons to take a critical look at the growth of the flower industry in India. Who are the investors in this sector, where do the profits go and who benefit by the substantial government subsidies? Does the international flower trade have as many opportunities as is often suggested? Is the demand for cut flowers growing at the same high pace as the supply? Will the market not become oversupplied and is collapse not imminent? What are the consequences of floriculture for the environment and what measures are taken to prevent environmental damage? How are labour conditions in the floral industry? How are health hazards of pesticides dealt with?
This report deals with those questions. This text is based on interviews and documents collected in India during the first six months of 1997. The focus is on the district of Bangalore, the main district for the production of flowers in India. Full attention is paid to the activities of the Dutch. They play a major role in the growth of the floral industry of India.

Nov 1996:
Child and adult labour in the export-oriented garment and gem polishing industry of India with case studies from Tirupur, Bangalore, Jaipur and Trichy (REPORT ICN):
This study has been undertaken at the request of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) in India.
It is the shared opinion of SACCS and ICN that cooperation between organizations in India and the western countries can play an important role in working towards the elimination of child labour in export industries like the garment industry and the gem polishing industry. The successful example of the Rugmark-label for oriental carpets without child labour - which was initiated amongst others by SACCS - has shown that positive action by non-governmental organizations, the industry and consumers can be of great help as a strategy to progressively eradicate child labour from a certain industry.
The study makes it abundantly clear that the problem of child labour in the garment and gem polishing industry is serious and needs to be tackled urgently. In India 'child labour networks' like SACCS and the Campaign Against Against Child Labour (CACL) have already created a climate for positive action by industry and government.