Nederlandstalige versie van deze pagina   back
Written question to European Commission

By: Max van den Berg (PvdA)
On: Multinational companies foster child slavery
Date: 28 November 2005

The recently published research report ‘The price of childhood’ shows that multinationals outsourcing cotton seed production to Indian farmers pay far too little to enable them to hire adults. This regards Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, all three of them companies operating on the European market. The farmers should get almost 40% more for their product to be able to pay adults the legal minimum wage of one Euro per day. Now they are using child labour. Children work about 13 hours a day, even while crops are being sprayed with dangerous pesticides. The farmers would loose money if they would hire adults at the legal minimum wage instead of children. That does not apply to multinational companies.
  1. Does the Commission share the opinion that companies like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, as well as Indian companies involved, are responsible for violating human rights, including those on child labour, forced labour, the right to health and the right to life?

  2. Does the Commission have the intention to address the companies involved as well as the home countries (Germany, Switzerland and the USA respectively) regarding their obligation to implement the fundamental labour rights treaties that have been agreed upon in the International Labour Organization?

  3. Which initiatives does the Commission take to put the improvement of worldwide labour conditions and social standards on the international agenda, including that of the WTO?

For answers of European Commission to these questions, click here!

India Committee of the Netherlands - November 29, 2005