“LIST OF VIOLATORS”The US Labour Department carries out an annual exercise of identifying countries and sectors using child labour. In 2012, the country blacklisted 21 items from India which included garments, zari, yarn and fabric”Although blacklisting by the US Labour Department does not lead to restrictions on exports of the identified items, it harms the image of the exporting country and influences buyers’ decisions”The Textile Ministry will try and ensure that the items blacklisted by the US this year do not include products from the textile and garment sector”“We have worked hard with the industry to ensure that the players adhere to international norms. The incidence of employment of child labour has come down significantly,” a Textile Ministry official said”The Apparel Export Promotion Council, that promotes exports under the Textile Ministry’s aegis, has taken several initiatives to ensure that the industry is free of child or forced labour”AEPC President A. Sakthivel said the council has Government enforcement data that show a sharp reduction in violations”“Last year, we went for an open house with the US Labour Department and our presentations were well appreciated. We are confident that this year, we can supply the required documentation that child labour is not used in the apparel sector and we can present our case successfully,” Sakthivel told Business Line”To increase awareness about good labour practices, the AEPC together with the Textiles Ministry, has started the project DISHA under which garment factories undergo training through vigorous capacity-building in 11 key areas”These include hours of work, wages and benefits, health and safety and prohibition of child labour and bonded labour”“There is a growing social awareness among buyers that is forcing the Indian industry to adopt good practices. This has to be recognised. We should not continue to be blacklisted,” the official said”FEWER CHILDREN WORKING”The number of working children in India has gone down in the NSSO Survey 2009-10 to 49.84 lakh from 90.75 lakh in 2004-05 and 1.26 crore in the 2001 Census. However, although the Union Cabinet approved the amendment in the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, banning employment of children aged up to 14 in any form of industry, homes or farms, it is yet to be approved by Parliament”


Source:Yahoo! Finance