'Behind the Seams' social compliances haunt Indian apparel industry
Indian exporters not only face tough competition with price and
quality of their merchandise, but also with social, and environmental standards
in the global market.
Indian apparel industry
boasts itself of using ethical manufacturing process, of standards complying
with international quality requirements, and not employing child labor. But
still, it cannot positively assert that its supply chain is 100% spick and span.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) alleges the Indian industry by listing a
number of products that has been manufactured by indentured, forced, and child
labor. The Executive Order (EO) 13126 on the 'Prohibition of Acquisition of
Products by Forced or Indentured Child Labor' was initially signed on June
1999. The latest revision came on October 4th, 2011 with updates, which
includes the Indian apparel industry.
in 2010, September, the Government of California has passed the Supply Chain
Transparency Act (SB 657). Effective from January 1st, 2012, it
requires companies with a gross more than $100 million to give a declaration
regarding what they do to eliminate slavery in their supply chains. They are
also expected to make these details online on their corporate websites. In the
absence of the website, a written disclosure needs to be sent within 30 days of
receiving a request. Manufacturers and retailers doing business in California
will be required to disclose the efforts taken by them to eliminate slavery and
human trafficking from their supply chains. The act encompasses five major
areas, independent and unannounced supplier audits, third party supply chain
verification, supplier certification of legal compliance, staff training on
forced labor and human trafficking, and internal accountability standards.
(International Labor Organization) estimates state that across the globe, more
than 215 million children are engaged as child labors. They are exposed to
worst forms of labor such as slavery, hazardous environment, and other forms of
forced labor. A latest list released by US labor department regarding the goods
produced by child or forced labor under the Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act states an appalling fact that cotton, footwear and apparel
makers top the list of worst offenders. The list specifies India as one among
the top countries involved in child labor.
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