The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), Employers Federation of Southern India (EFSI), Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and The Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) jointly organized a National Seminar on “Eradication of Child Labour” on a virtual platform on March 30, 2021. Stakeholders across the country from the textile value chain attended the seminar.
The seminar was inaugurated by Manoj kumar Patodia, Chairman, Texprocil who highlighted the need for eradicating child labour employment, the actions being taken by US DoL, the magnitude of sensitivity and the need for not only de-listing cotton seeds, cotton, thread / yarn from the list, but also the need for social accountability and the need for taking care of children.
Dr. Siddhartha Rajagopal, Executive Director, Texprocil highlighted the importance of addressing the child labour issue and procedures for de-listing the goods from US Trafficking Victims Protection Re-organization Act (TVPR) list. He also briefed the steps to be initiated by textile export promotion councils and industry Associations in the preparation of dossiers by engaging third party agency study, collection of data from the Department of Labour, collection of information from NGOs, adopting code of conduct and strictly adhering to labour laws to eradicate child labour, etc.
Rana Alok Singh, Regional Director, South Asia, ETI briefed about the role played by ETI in social accountability and social auditing and also gave various inputs for eradicating child labour. Mr. K. Varadan, Chief Consultation Officer, M/s. Aparajitha Corporate Services (P) Limited and State Committee Member of EFSI, deliberated on legal provisions against employment of child labour and employment of adolescent labour especially in the textile industry.
Dr. K. Selvaraju, Secretary General, SIMA moderated the session and briefed about the labour employment code and conduct recommended by SIMA and also the role played by The British Standards Institution in getting the star rating. He stated that the Code will facilitate any textile manufacturing unit to protect itself from any criticism from the NGOs and also other stakeholders. SIMA has established a Sustainability Cell that helps textile mills for auditing and certificate of employment code, apart from assisting the mills in compliance. SIMA is also having continuous dialogues with various stakeholdersand for eradication of child labor. He also informed that SIMA has developed a draft Code on the eradication of child labor for the employer’s compliance.