This paper published in June 2018, investigates how 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 dealt with concrete complaints about abusive labour conditions in the textile and garment industry in South India. The report was written by Homeworkers Worldwide (HWW), the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). The authors looked at how concrete complaints were dealt by ETI and SAI respectively and whether their complaints systems meet the standards of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. We hope that this report will contribute to on going debates about how multi-stakeholder initiatives and companies concerned to improve working conditions in global supply chains can respond more effectively to grievances raised by workers and organisations seeking to represent them.
Reports and research
Homeworkers Worldwide has been working on the issue of women homeworkers stitching the leather uppers for many years, in many different countries. This report provides a more detailed look at the recent work with homeworkers in Ambur in Tamil Nadu, in partnership with Cividep.
This summary report describes the first phase of our on-going project with Pentland Brands, tracing the homeworkers within their leather footwear supply chain in South India.
Many of the shoes we buy were stitched by women working at home, but the homeworkers who make our shoes remain unrecognised, without rights or respect. This in depth report explores the role of homeworkers in global supply chains, their poor pay and working conditions and the possibilities for change. This report was produced in March 2016 as part of the Europe-wide CHANGE YOUR SHOES campaign.
This summary is a brief introduction to the main findings and recommendations of our Stitching Our Shoes report on homeworkers in the leather footwear industry. It was produced by HWW, Labour Behind the Label and Cividep as part of the CHANGE YOUR SHOES campaign.
This report gives a brief overview of our work in 2015.
It is not unusual for the leather shoes you see in high street stores to be made by women working at home. Homeworking is a standard part of the production chain for certain types of leather footwear. Tamil Nadu, in South India, is a major producer of leather shoes for export, and thousands of homeworkers work in the industry, most commonly hand stitching uppers. These homeworkers receive low pay, and no employment security, despite having a lifetime of experience working in the industry. This briefing explores the role of homeworkers in Tamil Nadu's leather footwear industry, and outlines what action is necessary to strengthen their position and improve their working conditions.
This briefing highlights the main findings of our research with young women garment workers in Tamil Nadu. These women workers are producing garments for multinational companies, including some big names on the British high street. The briefing describes a range of labour rights abuses, which amount to conditions of forced labour.
This briefing note explores the Tamil Nadu textile and garment industry, how it has changed in recent years and why so many workers are subject to gender and caste discrimination and other rights abuses.
This briefing note explores what constitutes ‘forced labour’ and how it manifests itself in the textile mills and garment factories of Tamil Nadu.