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

2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - <2000
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.
Jul 4, 2017:
Responsible garment production a step closer (PRESS RELEASE SER):
The textile industry has established a basis for responsible garment manufacturing in the longer term. For the first time ever, businesses as a group will state which factories produce their clothing. They have also drawn up specific improvement plans to tackle poor working conditions, human rights and environmental and animal abuses.
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.
Jan 24, 2017:
Branded Childhood: Garment brands contribute to low wages, long working hours, child labour and school dropouts in Bangladesh (PRESS RELEASE Stop Child Labour):
The average worker in the Bangladeshi garment industry is getting paid only one third of what is considered to be a living wage. Low wages and long working hours have been found to play a key role in parents’ decisions to take their children out of school and let them work in various jobs. Many international garment brands, including but not only H&M, C&A, Esprit, Marks & Spencer, GAP, VF Corporation and Kmart Australia, contribute to this situation.
These are important findings of the report Branded Childhood that is published by Stop Child Labour and SOMO today. Almost 50% of the textiles produced in Bangladesh are exported to the European Union. International brands and retailers should therefore play a key role in ensuring that the rights of all workers and their children are respected.
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.
Mar 9, 2016:
Broad support for plan to eliminate child labour from the garment and textile industry (PRESS RELEASE Stop Child Labour):
Stop Child Labour welcomes the broad support for the elimination of child labour, forced (child) labour, low wages and other abuses in the global garment and textile industry. Sector associations, the government, trade unions and civil society organizations - including Stop Child Labour – have agreed on a ‘covenant’ to address these issues in the coming years.
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.
Feb 24, 2015:
Benetton to show true colors at Milan Fashion week (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign):
Clean Clothes Campaign marks Milan Fashion Week, which opens today, with actions across Europe calling on Benetton to stop delaying payments to the Rana Plaza victims by immediately contributing at least $5 million into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.
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.
Sep 14, 2012:
Pakistani factory struck by fire believed to supply European market (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign):
Information emerging from Pakistan today suggests that the Ali Enterprise factory in Karachi, which burned down on Tuesday killing over 300 workers, was supplying goods to the European market. The Clean Clothes Campaign is now calling on all brands and retailers sourcing from Karachi to undertake immediate reviews of all their suppliers.
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.
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.
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.
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 activistss: 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.
Nov 9, 2007:
India: Government Supports Employer in Cover-up of Worker Rights Abuses (PRESS RELEASE International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)) [CASE CLOSED]:
The ITUC has criticised attempts by the Indian government and the Bangalooru Court to cover up serious labour rights violations by the Fibre & Fabrics International company (FFI) and its subsidiary Jeans Knits Pvt. Ltd in the Indian city. Local labour rights groups, supported by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) initially exposed the violations in 2005. Following this the company, which supplies jeans to Dutch company G-Star and other international brands, took legal action in 2006 in the Bangalooru Court to ban the local groups, CCC and ICN from speaking about or publicising the violations.
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.
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.
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.
Apr 11, 2006:
International actions mark one-year anniversary of Spectrum tragedy: Sweeping changes still needed to stop ongoing deaths, injuries of garment workers (PRESS RELEASE Clean Clothes Campaign):
Bangladesh garment workers and labour rights activists take to the streets today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Spectrum factory collapse (64 dead, more than 70 injured, hundreds left jobless). With street actions, public events, and candlelight vigils activists in Bangladesh, Europe, and North America will denounce the failure to adequately compensate survivors and families of the dead, as well as the ongoing unsafe state of the garment sector where new incidents in the past six weeks have left more workers dead and injured.