Monsanto response to letter from India Committee of the Netherlands, regarding child labour at cotton seed suppliers for Mahyco-Monsanto in India
Monsanto sent the statement below to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in response to the following letter:
"Child labour at cotton seed suppliers for Mahyco-Monsanto in India”,
We are in receipt of your letter of February 6, 2006. To avoid delays in response in the future, please forward all inquiries related to Monsanto’s human rights policy firstname.lastname@example.org.
We share your interest and concerns about child labor in India. Monsanto Company takes this matter very seriously. It is precisely our concern that led us to join the Child Labor Eradication Group (CLEG) of the Association of Seed Industry (ASI). While progress may not have been as swift as anticipated, we wanted to share two examples of our efforts aimed at further eliminating child labor practices within the country (estimated spend: 90,000 US$).
To emphasize our commitment to the protection and advancement of human rights including, but not limited to, child labor, earlier this year Monsanto Company’s Board of Directors formally adopted a human rights policy for our company. It includes provisions on child labor, forced labor, compensation, working hours, harassment and violence, discrimination, safety, and freedom of association. A copy of Monsanto’s Human Rights policy, as well as background information, can be accessed via our company’s web site at http://www.monsanto.com.
We are in the early stages of our implementation efforts that support this newly released policy. Monsanto will take a thoughtful, phased and systemic approach to implementation. It is this approach that will guide Monsanto’s efforts in India, as well. Implementation efforts will include communication about the policy to employees and Monsanto’s business partners, as well as the creation of operational guidelines and a management information system, training sessions, and audits as a means to verify compliance.
Additional information will be made available to the public as it becomes available. We will add your organization to our mailing list.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this implementation period.