Child bondage continues in Indian cotton supply chain

25 09 2007

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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. (…)More than thirteen big Indian companies and two multinationals, Monsanto and Bayer, are involved in this ‘modern form of child slavery’. The ones which have outsourced the largest production to farmers are the Indian companies Nuziveedu, Raasi, Ankur and the American multinational Monsanto (including its Indian joint venture partner Mahyco). They make use of more than 200.000 children employed by farmers to which they have sub-contracted the cultivation of their high-technology BT cotton seeds. The report ‘The Price of Childhood’ (October 2005) by Dr. Venkateswarlu provided ample evidence that companies outsourcing their seed production to farmers, are paying almost 40% too little to enable them to hire adults for the local minimum wage of Rs.52 instead of children. Image source: indianet.nl. > Continue.

Message received by Covalence | Country: India | Company: Bayer, Monsanto | Source: India Committee of the Netherlands


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