Roundtable in India: the way forward for the garment sector

On 9 August 2016, FWF organised its National Stakeholder Roundtable in Delhi. This FWF effort brought together a wide array of organisations, from large Delhi-based organisations to smaller CSOs from the South of the country, making it a truly national event. The latest FWF Country Study India was presented at the beginning of the day, and the way forward discussed.

During the intensive day, participants learnt more about FWF’s work in India, and the results of the organisation’s activities in the country. The latest Country Study was presented, together with the trends that FWF has observed based on audit findings, complaints, its own research, and stakeholder opinions.

Professor Babu Mathew led a discussion on the proposed Labour Reform in India and its possible impact on social standards in the garment sector. “This is the first time I attend a multistakeholder event on labour in the garment sector. It is a much needed initiative”, Mathew said. He then went on to stress that the proposed labour reform presented a genuine risk of rolling back decades of civil society work on labour law, so labour law organisations should continue to work to find ways to improve the situation.

His presentation was followed by breakaway sessions that sought to establish action for change around three main topics: setting up effective dialogue structures, economic discrimination of female workers and how they can develop skills, and giving migrant workers a voice.

For participants this was a great opportunity to exchange concrete ideas, tools and mechanisms to improve labour conditions. All were very positive about the event, and appreciated the opportunity to for discussing issues in this type of setting.

FWF in India

India is, together with Bangladesh, China and Turkey, one of FWF’s priority countries. FWF has been active in the country since 2003. Around 160 factories are supplying 40 FWF members in India, concentrated in Delhi and surroundings, Tirupur, Mumbai and Bangalore.

According to FWF’s Lisa Suess, the India National Stakeholder Roundtable was a great opportunity to reflect on FWF’s priorities and planned activities in India in coming years. The input gathered during the day will ensure that FWF’s activities in India remain needs-based, and are useful for stakeholders.

Related resources

India Country Study 2016

India is, together with Bangladesh, China and Turkey, one of FWF’s priority countries. FWF has been active in the country since 2003. Around…

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