In the world there are thousands of girls working without a contract, in extreme conditions for more than 72 hours a week . The report "Captured by cotton " presents an example of explotation related to textil trade in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where young women are employed in conditions bordering on slavery. These textile companies are located within their own countries, but supply goods to well known international companies, many of them low cost.
Prepared by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, an independent Dutch non- profit organization that oversees the big multinationals and the India Committee of the Netherlands - an NGO of the same country-, this document is based on a series of interviews conducted over employees and former workers, trade unionists and NGO 's. As a result of this fieldwork some relevant data can be concluded: under these conditions, people work everyday producing six million underwear and other six million between pants, skirts and dresses, per month.
In response to this situation, these organizations have implemented and currently drive the campaign "Clean Clothes" to combat this situation affecting the global textile industry.
But what are we fighting against?
- That the vast majority of workforce in these industries is largely female; women are recruited in areas of extreme poverty and social marginalization .
- The daily grind of excessive hours.
- The lack of job security and poor health at work places.
- They are suffering sistematically the denial of trade union rights.
In brief , they are claiming for a recognition of the most basic employment rights , collected by the International Labour Organization.
In the same direction, the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) , a network of companies , unions, associations and volunteers, is mobilizing to improve the lives of these particularly vulnerable groups dedicated to manufacture all kinds of consumer goods, and especially , clothing and textiles in general.
Representatives from Fair Trade organizations from 48 countries, on five continents , gathered in the 1st Week World Fair Trade and Solidarity (Rio de Janeiro , Brazil, May 2013). At this meeting, they adopted the Declaration of the World Trade Week Fair, which could be summarized with the slogan " Fair Organizations fighting for Fair Trade ".
Another activity also launched to raise awareness worldwide about this kind of explotation is the celebration on May 12th, of the World Fair Trade Day; this edition theme was “To enjoy good coffee is not necessary to ground the others” , a wake-up call in situations of injustice behind the production of coffee and other items such as cocoa.
In short term:
Campaign " Fair Trade Beyond 2015 ", launched by the World Fair Trade Organization ( WFTO ), with the aim pointing towards Millennium Development Goals 2015.
Interesting for young people:
Fair Trade and Responsible Consumption Guide
Action-oriented guide that presents economic differences between South and North countries, and proposes alternatives and small actions that young people can bring in a Responsible Lifestyle.
In Spain :
- Coordinadora Estatal de Comercio Justo (CECJ) is the platform that brings together 30 organizations linked to Fair Trade . Focused on enhancing the alternative trading system and supportive service the member entities , and are part of the World Fair Trade Organization ( WFTO ) .
-28.3 Million euros was the turnover of Fair Trade products registered in Spain in 2012 , representing an increase of 6 % over the previous year . This is the main data of the report "Fair Trade in Spain 2012. Partnerships in motion"
Other initiatives :
- The NGO Solidarity Workshop and campaign to promote Fair Trade through sport in the classroom : "Sportswear made with love" ( 6/15/13 ) . This initiative provides mutual benefits , as the commitment of the equipment of a school , for a month employs 25 women Mandaluyng Workshop in the Philippines.
Written by Qualified Multiplier Eurodesk, Instituto Andaluz de la Juventud.