India Committee of the Netherlands
+++ In solidarity with the oppressed in India +++

2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - <2000
Nov 1, 2018:
New monitoring report: Seed companies show progress on tackling child labour, but fail to tackle non-payment of minimum wages in their supply chain (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Stop Child Labour):
The report Remedies for Indian seed workers in sight? of the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) reveals that despite progress in addressing child labour, seed companies have not sufficiently addressed the issue yet. The companies are also largely failing to take adequate measures to address non-payment of minimum wages, especially to women.
Jun 20, 2018:
Problems persist in South Indian textile industry (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Social Accountability International (SAI) – a social certification organisation for factories and organisations, and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) – an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working to improve the lives of workers – have failed to deliver on promises to deal effectively with concrete complaints about abusive labour conditions for girls and young women in the textile and garment industry in South India.
Read the new report Case Closed, Problems Persist by three NGOs: the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and UK-based HomeWorkers Worldwide (HWW).
Jan 26, 2018:
New report: False promises and restriction of movement in production for Western garment brands (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Clean Clothes Campaign/Garment Labour Union):
Female migrants employed in India’s garment factories supplying to big international brands like Benetton, C&A, GAP, H&M, Levi’s, M&S and PVH, are subject to conditions of modern slavery. In Bangalore, India’s biggest garment producing hub, young women are recruited with false promises about wages and benefits, they work in garment factories under high-pressure for low wages. Their living conditions in hostels are poor and their freedom of movement is severely restricted. Claiming to be eighteen at least, many workers look much younger.
These are some conclusions from the report Labour Without Liberty – Female Migrant Workers in Bangalore's Garment Industry.
Aug 23, 2017:
New report: The Dark Sites of Granite: Modern slavery, child labour and unsafe work in Indian Granite Quarries - What should companies do? (MEDIA RELEASE ICN/Stop Child Labour):
New research, commissioned by the India Committee of the Netherlands and Stop Child Labour, reveals that modern slavery, low wages, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions are rampant in granite quarries in South India. In some quarries, especially in waste stone processing, child labour is found.
There is an enormous gap in working conditions between permanent workers (mainly supervisors) and casual workers (70% of the workforce). The first group receives safety equipment, insurance and an employment contract, while the casual labourers doing the dangerous manual work, lack those fundamental labour rights.
Mar 15, 2017:
Rights of Indian leather workers systematically violated - Major footwear and garment brands react to serious human rights issues in their leather supply chain and promise collective action (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Around 2,5 million workers in the Indian leather industry often face unacceptable working conditions that violate their human rights and seriously affect their health. Toxic chemicals used in tanneries often very negatively impact the health of the workers. Less known are the many labour and other human rights issues in the leather industry like wages below the stipulated minimum wage, child labour, the exploitation of home-based workers, the difficulty to organize in trade unions and the discrimination of Dalits (‘outcastes’).
Feb 16, 2017:
10,000 signatures for living wage handed over to Minister Ploumen: Consumer fed up with starvation wages in garment industry (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN):
Thousands of Dutch consumers want Minister Ploumen [of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation] to provide a living wage for garment workers. Through a petition of Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands 10,734 Dutch people call on Ploumen to do so.
Dec 21, 2016:
Fabric of Slavery: Large-scale child slavery in Indian spinning mills making yarn for international garment brands (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
New research by the India Committee of Netherlands (ICN) shows that various forms of modern slavery, including child slavery, are found in more than 90% of the spinning mills in South India. These spinning mills produce yarn for India, Bangladeshi and Chinese garment factories that produce for the Western market.
The report Fabric of Slavery exposes the scale on which young girls and women - the majority of which are Dalits or 'outcastes' - are enslaved by employers who withhold their wages or lock them up in company-controlled hostels. They work long hours, face sexual harassment and do not even earn the minimum wage. Gerard Oonk, director of ICN: "We have raised the issue for five years now, but even to us the scale of this problem came as a shock."
Sep 27, 2016:
Dutch companies producing garments in India often pay less than minimum wage (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN):
The working conditions in factories in India that produce for Dutch clothing brands are downright bad. Not garment worker earns a living wage. More than one third of the workers not even gets the official minimum wage. Mandatory overtime is often not paid, intimidation is widespread and women earn even less than men. Also, some factories do not take care of social insurances and medical expenses. That is, and more, emerges from the study Doing Dutch – Research into the state of pay for workers in garment factories in India working for Dutch fashion brands published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands.
Jan 28, 2016:
Unfree and Unfair: young migrant garment workers in Bangalore, India - C&A, H&M, Inditex ('Zara'), GAP and PVH ('Tommy Hilfiger') declare to take serious action (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
The paper Unfree and Unfair - published today by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) – gives evidence of appalling living conditions and restricted freedom of movement of young migrant garment workers in the Indian city of Bangalore. An increasing number of young migrant women workers are staying in factory-owned hostels with poor living conditions while their movement is severely restricted. The wages of the workers do not add up to a decent living wage.
The hostels are run by garment factories in Bangalore that produce for leading multinational brands like C&A, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Inditex and GAP. These companies promised a number of specific actions to provide migrant garment workers with better living conditions in Bangalore.
Nov 24, 2015:
New Report Soiled Seeds: Many seed companies involved in child labour and below minimum wages in vegetable seed production in India - 156.000 Indian children produce vegetable seeds for companies (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Almost 156.000 Indian children are producing vegetable seeds (tomato, hot pepper, okra), of which 50.000 are below 14 years of age. All of them are exposed to harsh working conditions, including poisonous pesticides and long working days. They mostly drop out of school between 11 and 13 years of age. The number of adolescent children (14 to 18) increased with more than 37.000.
Multinationals like Limagrain (French), Sakata (Japanese), Advanta (Indian) and East-West Seed (Dutch) had between 10 and 16% children below 14 years working at farmers producing seeds for them. Indian companies show similar figures. All companies have around 30% adolescents working on supplier farms.
Jul 23, 2015:
New report: Cotton’s Forgotten Children - Almost half a million Indian children produce cottonseed (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Stop Child Labour):
Almost half a million Indian children are working to produce the cottonseed that is the basis for our garments and all the other textile products that we use. Around 200,000 of them are below 14 years of age. This is one of the shocking results of the new study Cotton’s Forgotten Children by India’s long-term expert on the issue, Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu.
Oct 28, 2014:
New Report: Modern day slavery in the Indian textile industry - Efforts of clothing brands and retailers lack scale and conviction (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Flawed Fabrics – a new report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) – shows that workers are still facing appalling labour conditions that amount to forced labour in the export-oriented Southern Indian textile industry. The women and girls who work in the spinning mills of Tamil Nadu, some as young as 15, are mostly recruited from marginalised Dalit communities in impoverished rural areas. They are forced to work long hours for low wages. They live in very basic company-run hostels and are hardly ever allowed to leave the company compound. The researched spinning mills have Western companies and Bangladesh garment factories among their customers, including C&A, Mothercare, HanesBrands, Sainsbury's and Primark.
Apr 4, 2014:
Small Steps - Big Challenges in Tamil Nadu’s textile industry - Garment brands not transparent on tackling bonded labour in India (PRESS RELEASE FNV Mondiaal/ICN):
Most Dutch and international companies importing garments from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu refuse to be transparent about if and how they tackle bonded labour at their suppliers. An estimated 100,000 young children and teenage girls are victims of 'bonded labour' or 'modern slavery'. These girls - mostly Dalit ('outcaste') - live in hostels, with little freedom of movement, underpaid for long working-days and working under unhealthy conditions.
Aug 13, 2013:
Dutch Minister Ploumen: Eradicate child labour and low wages in Indian seed sector 'as soon as possible' - ICN report leads to action by companies and trade association (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Stop Child Labour):
The Dutch government wants child labour and low wages in the seed production in India "to be eliminated as soon as possible". That is what Dutch Minister Ploumen of Trade and Development Co-operation answered in response to parliamentary questions from Members of Parliament ChristianUnion, Party for the Animals, Socialist Party and 50Plus. She made an agreement on that with the Dutch seed companies Bejo Seeds and Nunhems, as well as with trade association Plantum. The India Committee of the Netherlands and the Stop Child Labour campaign welcome this agreement.
Minister Ploumen will visit India beginning of September. CSR will be an important part of her mission.
Jun 29, 2013:
Two Dutch vegetable seed companies in India compared : Large-scale child labour at Bejo Sheetal - Nunhems almost child labour free (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Stop Stop Child Labour) :
The Indian company Bejo Sheetal, joint venture partner of Bejo Seeds from The Netherlands, tolerates widespread child labour at the farmers who supply seeds to them. The farmers providing seeds to Nunhems India - part of Nunhems Netherlands - work almost without using child labourers younger than 14.
This is the main conclusion from the report A Tale of Two Companies – The difference between action and inaction in combating child labour, today published by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the campaign 'Stop Child Labour - School is the best place to work'.
Jul 18, 2012:
Brands and politicians are starting to act: Bonded (child) labour in Indian garment industry draws global attention (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Recent publications of SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands have significantly contributed to the fact that in Europe, the USA and The Netherlands steps are being taken against the large-scale child labour in the South Indian textile and garment industry. Both a number of garment brands as well as the Dutch, European and American politicians are now starting to take some action against bonded (child) labour in South India which is known as the ‘Sumangali Scheme’.
Apr 25, 2012:
Young Dalit women exploited in Indian garment industry: Despite industry's promises, young Dalit women continue to suffer exploitative conditions, reveals new report 'Maid in India' (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
European and US garment brands and retailers have failed in their attempts to structurally improve labour conditions at their suppliers in Tamil Nadu, South India. Despite corporate promises and a range of well-meaning initiatives, workers, mostly very young women, continue to suffer exploitative working conditions. Up until today, thousands of women in the garment and textile industry in Tamil Nadu work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour. These are the findings by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) presented in the report Maid in India, published today.
Mar 5, 2012:
Still 'Captured by Cotton'? Despite some improvements, problems persist in the garment supply chain (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Today, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) are presenting a sneak preview of their upcoming report on labour abuses in the South Indian garment industry. The two-pager preview is published on the occasion of a meeting of the Sumangali Bonded Labour group of the UK-based Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). SOMO and ICN call upon garment brands to take their responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout their supply chain.
Oct 31, 2011:
Precarious work in certified tea production for Unilever - New report by SOMO and ICN reveals labour right violations in Rainforest Alliance certified tea production for Unilever in India and Kenya (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Workers picking tea for Unilever in India and Kenya are subject to precarious working conditions and labor rights violations, even though this tea carries the Rainforest Alliance certificate. This is an important finding from the report Certified Unilever Tea - Small cup, big difference? that SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) are releasing today.
May 20, 2011:
Exploited Dalit Girls Produce Garments in India for European and US Markets - Companies have taken steps, but exploitation remains widespread (MEDIA RELEASE SOMO/ICN):
Big garment brands and retailers have their products made under exploitative and unhealthy conditions by girls in Tamil Nadu, South India. The girls, mostly younger than 18 and from a Dalit (‘outcaste’) background are employed under the Sumangali Scheme. In its worst form, this employment scheme stands for bonded labour, as described in Captured by Cotton, a report published today by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporation (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).
The report features case studies of four large manufacturers: Eastman Global Clothing Exports, KPR Mill, Bannari Amman, and SSM India. These enterprises produce for Bestseller (e.g. Only, Jack & Jones), C&A, GAP, Diesel, Inditex (e.g. Zara), Marks & Spencer, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, and many other European and US garment companies. A number of companies have undertaken steps towards the elimination of the Sumangali Scheme, but abusive labour practices remain widespread.
Jun 10, 2010:
More than half a million child labourers in Indian seed production - Situation improved where government, NGOs and companies intervened (MEDIA RELEASE ICN/Stop Child Labour/ILRF):
More than half a million children in India below 18 years are growing cottonseed and vegetable seeds under hazardous conditions, including very long working hours and exposure to pesticides. Around 230.000 of them are below 14 years of age. They produce the seed on the land of small and marginal farmers, which multinational and Indian seed companies use to outsource their hybrid seed production.
Child labour below age 14 in cottonseed production, although still a huge problem, has decreased in India by 25%. The decline is greater in areas where the MV Foundation (an NGO) and companies like Bayer and Monsanto have made efforts to eliminate it.
Jan 29, 2008:
Indian court cases against Dutch and Indian organisations withdrawn: Agreement reached between Clean Clothes Campaign / India Committee of the Netherlands and Indian clothing manufacturer (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
Today, the Indian clothing manufacturer Fibre and Fabrics International (FFI) and subsidiary JKPL have withdrawn all court cases against the Clean Clothes Campaign, the India Committee of the Netherlands, a number of local Indian labour rights organisations and internet/ADSL-providers Antenna and XS4ALL.
This is the result of an agreement which has come into place via mediation by former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. CCC and ICN support the agreement - described in more detail in a statement issued by Lubbers - which we believe paves the way for a sustainable mechanism to solve possible future labour conflicts at G-Star supplier FFI/JKPL.
Jan 21, 2008:
Need for more sustainable Chinese granite: European natural stone importers acknowledge need for improvement of labour conditions (PRESS RELEASE SOMO/ICN) :
The import of granite and other natural stone products into the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and other European countries is increasing. Granite is much used for public infrastructural projects, like pavement. The production of granite and other types of natural stone is still far from sustainable, concludes the report Improving working conditions at Chinese Natural Stone Companies that was just now published by SwedWatch and SOMO. Safety is a major issue in Chinese tile cutting facilities and quarries. Working weeks of seven days are no exception. Payment is poor. European importing companies acknowledge the problems described in the report and are willing to contribute to improving the working conditions.
Dec 6, 2007:
The Clean Clothes Responds to G-Star's Withdrawal from FFI/JKPL (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
Today G-Star announced its withdrawal from supplier FFI/JKPL. The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee Netherlands (ICN) are pleased that G-Star has finally taken this important first step toward socially responsible practices. Part and parcel of this decision should be G-Star's effort to maintain jobs for the workers of the FFI factory.
Dec 3, 2007:
Indian court issues international arrest warrants for Dutch labour activists: NGOs, Unions outraged at attempt to imprison human rights defenders (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
An Indian magistrate Court ruled on Saturday that international warrants will be issued for the arrest of Dutch human rights activists, report the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands, two of the organizations whose staff are being charged in connection with their efforts to raise awareness of rights violations at an Indian factory supplying Dutch jeans company G-Star. On the 4th of December, the court will send the case to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, asking it to execute the arrest warrants and request extradition of the 8 Dutch nationals.
Oct 26, 2007:
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) falsely accused by Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
During a state visit of the Dutch Queen and several ministers and companies, the Indian Minister of Economic affairs, Shri Kamal Nath, confronted the delegation with misleading information on the work of the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands, in relation to the factory FFI in Bangalore.
Sep 27, 2007:
India: Warrant of arrest for Dutch labour rights activists (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
A judge in Bangalore has ordered the apprehension of seven staff members of the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands. The juridical pronouncement is but the next step in the libel law suit initiated by the India jeans manufacturer FFI against the activists and internet providers Antenna and Xs4all. The company’s lawyer asked the court to make sure that the accused, who are represented by legal counsel, will be present in person when the case is being tried in Bangalore.
Sep 25, 2007:
New report: 'Child bondage continues in Indian cotton supply chain' - More than 400.000 children exploited in hybrid cottonseed production (MEDIA RELEASE ICN):
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.
Jun 14, 2007:
Dutch campaign organisations summoned to Indian court in alleged defamation case: Jeans manufacturer tries to silence its critics (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign/ICN) [CASE CLOSED]:
Following their efforts to draw attention to rights violations at an Indian garment factory, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) have been summoned to appear in a Bangalore court on June 25, 2007. The Dutch organisations, who have been raising awareness of violations at international jeans suppliers Fibres and Fabrics International and its 100% subsidiary Jeans Knit Pvt Ltd (FFI/JKPL), are accused of cyber crime, acts of racist and xenophobic nature and criminal defamation.
Jun 8, 2007:
New report: Seeds of Change - Child labour in India in cotton seed tackled by MNC's Bayer and Monsanto, but issue is far from solved (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Multinational companies Bayer and Monsanto have, under a combination of local and international pressure, began to tackle the issue of child labour in their cotton seed supply chain in India. However, both companies are still unprepared to tackle the issue in other states in which they are expanding their production.
This is the conclusion of the report, titled Seeds of Change, published today. The author Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu assesses the follow-up by the two companies on commitments to a joint action plan. The report is released in advance of World Day Against Child Labor taking place on June 12.
Feb 19, 2007:
Indian supplier of Euro/US Brands Gags Rights Activists: Court denies Indian labour organizations right to speak about working conditions in garment factory (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Clean Clothes Campaign) [CASE CLOSED]:
The court of the City Civil Judge at Bangalore ruled today to impose a restraining order on five Indian labour organizations that had spoken out about problems at a garment factory producing for top European and US brands, the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands report today.
Sep 29, 2006:
New report From Quarry to Graveyard: The Dutch natural stone market and responsible business behaviour - 'Dutch natural stone companies are beginning to take an interest in responsible business behaviour' (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Inhuman labour conditions and wide scale environmental damage are part and parcel of natural stone production in India. This is the message of the report From Quarry to Graveyard - Corporate social responsibility in the natural stone sector published today by the India Committee of the Netherlands. The report describes the Dutch natural stone trade and details how Dutch companies and trade organisations are starting to take an interest in corporate social responsibility.
Oct 31, 2005:
Companies perpetuate child labour in India by low prices and flawed inspection (MEDIA RELEASE ICN):
Multinational and Indian seed companies are paying Indian farmers who are producing their cotton seed almost 40% too little to enable them to hire adults for the local minimum wage of Rs.52 (€1,-) instead of children. The companies are multinationals like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta but also Indian companies like Nuziveedu Seeds, Raasi Seeds and Ankur Seeds.
At present the farmers working for these companies mainly hire children and young people below 18. At least 100.000 of them work 13 hours a day in cotton seed production in Andhra Pradesh for less than half a euro per day. They are often bonded by loans given to their parents.
These are some findings from the report The Price of Childhood released by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA) and Eine Welt Netz NRW (OneWorld Net Germany).
Oct 4, 2004:
Multinational and Indian companies still profit from bonded child labour on cottonseed farms in India (PRESS RELEASE ICN) :
An estimated 12,375 children are still working in horrendous conditions on cottonseed farms in the state of Andhra Pradesh (India) producing for the multinational corporations (MNC's) Advanta (Dutch), Bayer (German), Emergent Genetics (US, with an investment from Unilever) and Monsanto (US). In addition more than 70.000 children are working for Indian seed companies under similar circumstances. Children are working long hours, do not go to school and are often bonded to the employers by loans. A number of children have died or became seriously ill due to exposure to pesticide. Promises by companies made last year to eradicate child labour in the sector have not translated into solid actions.
Apr 30, 2004:
Dutch companies in India yet to live up to corporate responsibility (PRESS RELEASE ICN) :
Dutch companies in India only very partially practice corporate social responsibility (CSR). Most multinationals do have an official corporate policy or a code of conduct on the issue, but hardly involve their Indian daughter company in its development. Neither do they monitor if the policy is implemented or not. Small and medium sized - internationally operating - companies (SME's) usually do not have a CSR policy. Hardly any company does check if the production in its sub-contracting chain is being carried out in line with internationally agreed labour and (other) human rights and as well as environmental standards. This is also the case with regard to a highly sensitive issue like child labour.
These are some conclusions from the report Corporate Social Responsibility - Policy and practices of Dutch companies. The report was commissioned by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and written by CREM (Consultancy and Research for Environmental Management).
Apr 26, 2004:
Dutch government criticises India on caste discrimination and Gujarat - India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) urges for human rights dialogue at EU-India Summit in October (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, Dr. B.R. Bot has expressed his concern about caste discrimination and has criticised the Indian government on the present situation in Gujarat. He did this in response to a letter on these issues sent by eight Dutch NGO's, including the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN).
Oct 24, 2003:
Multinationals pledge to end child labour in Indian seed production (PRESS RELEASE ICN/Amnesty International Netherlands/Novib-Oxfam Netherlands/FNV Mondiaal):
Seed multinationals Monsanto, Emergent Genetics, Hindustan Lever1, Syngenta, Advanta and Proagro (a subsidiary of Bayer) as well as some big Indian seed companies, have agreed to co-operate with the MV Foundation (MVF) - a reputed NGO in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh - to eliminate child labour from the cotton seed industry. The companies will come up with a concrete proposal in October 2003.
This was the outcome of a meeting between these companies and the MV Foundation (MVF) in September in Hyberabad, capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The outcome is a real breakthrough in view of the ongoing debate on the issue.
May 19, 2003:
Unilever asks its Indian subsidiary HLL to discuss child labour (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
On the 15th of May the issue of child labour in cotton seed production was discussed between Unilever Netherlands and the India Committee of the Netherlands, the Confederation of Netherlands Trade Unions, Amnesty International, Novib/Oxfam Netherlands and the Indian M. Venkatarangaiya Foundation (MVF). Unilever agreed to ask her Indian subsidiary Hindustan Lever to have a meeting in the region of production (Andhra Pradesh) with MVF.
May 14, 2003:
Unilever, Monsanto and other multinationals involved in large-scale child labour in India's cotton seed production - Start of European campaign 'Stop child labour - School is the best place to work' (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Both Hindustan Lever Ltd., an Indian subsidiary of British-Dutch multinational company Unilever, as well as the American multinational Monsanto are making use of hazardous forms of child labour in cotton seed production in India on a large scale. An estimated number of 25.000 children, mostly girls, work an average of ten to thirteen hours a day for Hindustan Lever, while around 17.000 children work for Monsanto and their Indian subsidiary Mahyco. These children get no education, earn less than 40 Eurocents (Rs. 20) a day and are exposed to poisonous pesticides like Endosuphan during their work. More than 11.000 children work under similar conditions for the multinationals Syngenta (Swiss), Advanta (Dutch-British) and Proagro (owned by Bayer from Germany).
This is the result from the research done by the Indian researcher Dr. D. Venkateswarlu for the Indian Committee of the Netherlands.
Apr 15, 2003:
Members European Parliament suggest: 'suspend aid to Gujarat' - Netherlands government criticises human rights situation Gujarat (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Four members of the European Parliament from different political parties have asked the European Commission to suspend official development aid to Gujarat till it is clear that those guilty of the massacre on 2000 Muslims are being punished, the victims rehabilitated and an end is put to the marginalisation of Christians and Muslims (Questions European Parliament on Gujarat: The parliamentarians express their concern that Hindu fundamentalism is leading to increasing violence against religious minorities.
The members of Parliament also want to know if and how the Commission has followed up on the serious concerns expressed last year about the situation in Gujarat. They asked the Commission as well what recommendations they can give to European companies that are active in Gujarat 'in order to avoid that they contribute to the discrimination of religious and other minorities'.
The four parliamentarians are from the four biggest political groups: the Liberal Democrats, the Socialists, the Christian Democrats and the Greens. The initiative has been taken by Mr. Bob van de Bos from the Liberal Democrats.
Mar 11, 2003:
European Union and Netherlands should suspend official aid to Gujarat (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Both the European Union (EU) and The Netherlands have thus far continued their official development co-operation with the state government of Gujarat (India), also after Chief Minister Modi of the ruling BJP won the elections in December 2002 after a hate campaign against the Muslim minority. Since June 2002 the EU and The Netherlands have not publicly raised their voice again about the massacre supported by the Modi-government on more than 2000 Muslims in Gujarat, even though it is becoming clear that surviving victims have no access to justice and are hardly being rehabilitated and compensated.
The position of The Netherlands and the EU calls for an explanation in the light of 'good governance' criteria, including respect for human rights, that especially The Netherlands considers to be thé cornerstone for government to government development co-operation.
May 31, 2001:
One year countdown starts towards the first child labour free World Cup (PRESS REPORT ICN):
Representing 250 million children suffering their childhood in hard years of labour, Sonia, a 15-year-old former child labourer from India will be kicking off the World Cup Campaign 2002 - Kick Child Labour Out of the World, in Tokyo, Japan. Counting down to the grand opening ceremony of the Football World Cup 2002 to be hosted in Korea and Japan, the Global March Against Child Labour will join up with NGOs, trade unions, children and all concerned people to make the next year's biggest international sporting event another step forward in the fight against child labour.
May 1994:
APPEAL FOR ACTION: Support campaign against child exploitation in the carpet industry (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
The India Committee of the Netherlands requests you to support the following demands directed at the European Union (EU) and its member states:
• support for the implementation in all member states of the EU of an (already developed) trade mark for carpets not made by children;
• an import ban at the level of the European Union for carpets which do not carry the certified trade mark label;
• support for rehabilitation programmes for working children, through NGO's, through bilateral agreements between the EU and India and through international organizations like the ILO;
• to make working children a priority target group in the 150 million EU-funded programme for primary education in India;
• to carry out a survey of other export sectors in which child labour is prominent and to propose an action programme against it, including support for labelling systems, import restrictions and rehabilitation programmes.
Oct 1992:
Campaign 'Work Against Poverty': Development Aid and Debt Conversion for Employment Guarantee in India (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Indo-Dutch team investigated possible support for new employment guarantee programmes in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
Mar 1988:
Campaigning on Operation Flood leads to important concessions of the European Community (EC) - New critical reports of the European Parliament and the Court of Auditors of the ECon Operation Flood (PRESS REPORT ICN):
After years of debate and controversy in India and Europe on Operation Flood, the European Community recently decided to support the third phase of this national dairy development programme in India with new multi-annual food aid supplies. From 1970 till 1986 the EC has already been providing Operation Flood with around half a million ton of skimmed mil powder (SMP) and butteroil (BO). Most probably in March this year India and the EC will sign an agreement on Operation Flood III (1987-1994) for the supply of 75.000 ton of SMP and 25.000 ton of BO. In fact 40% of these amounts have already been delivered last year or will be delivered in the first half of this year.
The World Bank will also support Operation Flood III with a loan of $360 million (Rs. 4680 million) on a total project budget of around $700 million. The rest of Flood III will be financed with funds generated by new EC dairy aid (Rs. 2126 million) and with the existing resources of the National Dairy Development Board (Rs. 1960 million). The latter are largely deriving from unspent counterpart funds of EC support to Operation Flood II.
Jan 20, 1988:
Urgent call upon European Parliament: No more dairy aid for Operation Flood in India without policy change in favour of the poor (PRESS REPORT ICN):
The European Community should stop it's dairy aid to India's dairy development programme Operation Flood III. This can best be done after the proposed quantities of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and butteroil (BO) for 1988 (18.000 t. and 6000 t. respectively) have been delivered, because this gives the project authorities of Operation Flood some time to adjust to the new situation.
Also the Dairy Federations, in theory the highest representatives of the milk producers who are participating in Operation Flood, have in a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of India (of 8th July 1988) asked for a ban on the import of SMP and BO.
Any additional aid for Operation Flood III (1987-1994), preferably financial aid and not dairy aid, should only be considered if there is a clear policy change in favour of the poor, among which women in particular, and if competition between European dairy aid and indigenous milk production is strictly avoided. In this case any financial transfers or proceeds from dairy aid should be used to support the implementation of these policy changes.
Mar 1987:
Joint Review Mission EEC/World Bank concludes: Stop EEC dairy aid to India - Mission produces very critical report on India's Operation Flood (PRESS REPORT ICN):
The official Joint Review Mission of the EEC and the World Bank which evaluated India's Operation Flood II programme last summer, has come to the conclusion that "a moratorium on imports of dairy products is more than appropriate and deliveries of milk powder and butteroil should take place only if and when a substantial and documented deficit shows up". According to the mission "imports of dairy products (either donated, subsidized or commercial) can, in the present situation of growing indigenous stocks, damage the strenghteninq of the cooperative industry".
These statements can be found in the Main Report of the Joint Review Mission of which the concluding 23 pages have just been released. The overall view by the mission of Operation Flood is quite critical. The report states: "The quality of achievement is quite uneven across India and the states, ranging from very satisfactory to disappointing. The situation has become very complex and very demanding in terms of rationalising present operations and building on them".
Jul 1986:
EEC under pressure to reconsider dairy aid to India (PRESS REPORT ICN):
In the European Economic Community (EEC) there is growing pressure on the policy making institutions to phase out dairy aid to India and to review the conditions under which any additional dairy aid might be given.
Jul 1986:
Appeal for participation in campaign to stop the vicious circle of EEC dairy aid to, and animal feed imports from India.
Jan 1986:
Protest against arrests of human rights activists (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
An international campaign has been started by the India Committee of the Netherlands to protest against the arrests of human rights activists under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in India and particularly in the state of Andhra Pradesh; and to demand the immediate release of Dr. K. Balagopal, general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) and several other human rights activists.
Dec 9, 1985:
Start of Campaign EEC milk out of India! (PRESS REPORT ICN):
The India Committee of the Netherlands, a non-governmental voluntary organization, is starting this month with the campaign: 'EEC MILK OUT OF INDIA!'. The campaign is meant in the first place to stop the vicious circle of EEC dairy aid to, and animal feed imports from India. It is directed at the European Parliament, the European Commission (the 'executive board' of the EEC), the parliaments and governments of the EC-member countries and the compound feed industry in these countries.
Nov 1984:
Conflicting Images: India's Development Crisis (PRESS RELEASE ICN):
Audiovisual weekend on India, 16, 17 and 18 November 1984.
Aug 16, 1982:
India-related groups and all main political parties in the Netherlands critisize human rights situation in India (PRESS REPORT ICN):
Recently a Declaration on the human rights situation in India has been published in the Netherlands (see Appendix), signed by about 20 Dutch Committees and Groups concerned with India, as well as by the 7 main political parties in the Netherlands (having 144 seats out of a total 150 seats in parliament). These parties are: Christian Democratic Party (CDA), Liberal Party (VVD), Social Democratic Party (PvdA), Democrats (D66), Radical Liberals (PPR), Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP) and Communist Party (CPN).