Skip to main content

Govt of India "rattled"? ILO study refers to forced labour in big South Asian factories, yet doesn't mention India

By Our Representative
Strange though it may seem, the Government of India is reportedly rattled by a study, released jointly by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Australia’s Walk Free Foundation (WFF), “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery”, despite the fact that it does not provide any estimates for India, nor does it criticize India in any in its 68-pages.
Top British daily “The Guardian”, quoting an Intelligence Bureau (IB) memo appearing in a recent report, says, it advises the Government of India “to launch a campaign to ‘discredit’ research into the country’s modern slavery problem because it has the ‘potential to substantially harm India’s image and exports’,” underlining, it does so India even though “India was not specifically mentioned.”
However, claims the daily, “Successive research has estimated the number of modern slaves in the country to be between 14m and 18m people –the most in the world”, adding, “The intelligence memo claimed that researchers were increasingly ‘targeting’ India as a modern slavery hub.”
While it is difficult to say what may have rattled the Government of India, the ILO-WFF study especially takes strong exception to how so far, in references to forces labour in the manufacturing sector, unfortunately, attention has only been “focused on the abuses in small garment or footwear factories in the largely infor­mal sector of the South Asian countries”.
It underlines, though without giving any facts, “Growing aware­ness of global supply chain risks has led to coercion being detected in the production of a range of products that until recently had escaped public attention.”
Providing an unnamed example, it says, “Just one ex­ample is the manufacture of garments for medical use – a large global industry produc­ing some 150 billion pairs of gloves per year and with a market value of more than US$ 5 billion – for which most production is outsourced to factories in Asia that rely on migrant workers.”
“The doc­umented concerns at many of these factories include ex­cessive working hours and production targets, payment of high recruitment fees, il­legal retention of passports, and in some cases illegal im­prisonment and beatings of workers”, it underlines.
It continues, “At the higher end of the manufacturing scale, abuses in the electrical and electronics industry have also received global attention, with some major electron­ics, telecommunications, and technology brands encoun­tering criticism over labour exploitation, including forced labour, in their supply chains.” 
The study also notes how “patterns of Asian bonded labour”, noted about four decades ago, continue even now: “Traditional forms of bonded labour still sur­vive throughout South Asia, particularly in rural areas where land and tenancy re­forms have not taken place, and where landowners still enjoy wide powers.”
“Much of today’s bonded labour is associated more with internal migration, the involvement of labour contractors and re­cruiting intermediaries, and work in a range of sectors in the informal economy”, it says, adding, the areas where such bonded labour exists include “min­ing, brick-making, fish-pro­cessing, gem-cutting, and carpet-weaving”, many of whom are “hazardous.”
Overall, according to ILO-WFF estimates, without mentioning India, “Modern slavery occurred in every re­gion of the world. Modern slavery was most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people), followed by Asia and the Pacific (6.1 per 1,000) then Europe and Central Asia (3.9 per 1,000).”
---
Pix: Screenshots from the study

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.