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AEPC to promote India as ethical sourcing place
27
Apr '12
The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) under the Ministry of Textiles started the formation of Stakeholder Forum, with an aim to integrate perspectives, voices and concerns as well as seek assistance and contributions of various stakeholders of the apparel industry towards developing strategies to improve India's image as an ethical sourcing destination.

The Stakeholders Forum will address the challenges of apparel exporters and provide time-honored, focused and need based solution/ assistance.

Today consultations included participants from International Organizations, NGOs, Trade Unions, Third party accreditation agencies, multi-stakeholder institutions, Brands, Retailers and Buying Houses. All of them gave relevant inputs during discussion. The meeting was chaired by Mr V Srinivas, Jt Secretary, Ministry of Textiles. Chairman AEPC, Dr. A Sakthivel addressed the stakeholders.

Addressing the meeting Shri Sakthivel said, “DISHA is an advisory body to help small scale exporters as they need a lot of guidance and help to grow. I am happy that so many people and bodies have responded positively to it. It will help in building a quality consensus and everyone will benefit from it.”

The programme includes issues pertaining child labor, freedom of association, proper wages and much more. We want to involve all certification agencies so that, DISHA as a certifying agency is recognized by all, he added.

This initiative is to make the Indian Apparel Manufacturers achieve competitive advantage and Sustainable economic gain by taking responsibility for legal compliance, decent work practices and social justice. The key focus areas on which the consultations progressed were: Child labour/trafficked labour, freedom of association, wages and benefits, capacity building and global endorsement.

The objectives are define a common compliance code with the global endorsement; designing systems for assessment, monitoring and evaluation, develop guidelines for implementations, facilitate factory capacity building in terms of core compliance issues, implement, manage and continuously improve the grogram.

Addressing to the stakeholders Shri V Srinivas, JS in the Ministry of Textiles said, “I am deeply touched & moved by this initiative. We are a trade promotion ministry and our mandate is trade promotion. AEPC is the leading export promotion council and we get lot of export revenue from their efforts.

“To address the concern of exports I asked AEPC to work on social compliance norms and they are doing very good work. Government will provide support to the council.” Answering to the demand on issues of child labour Shri Srinivas said, “6.5 million Inspections have been done in the past. We are in touch with the laobur Ministry and conviction rates are coming down.

Representatives from ICRIER, STR, Ethical Trading Initiative, TUV Rhineland, WRAP, FLO-CERT, SGS, GIZ, ILO par

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