For over a decade, Cividep has been working closely with the Bangalore garment industry, which has an estimated 500,000 workers in nearly 1200 factories. Most leading multinational brands like H&M, C&A, M&S, GAP, JC Penny, ZARA and Next source ready-made apparel from the city. At least eighty percent of garment workers are women, usually little-educated migrants from rural Karnataka and neighboring states like Tamil Nadu.
The international branded apparel sector has been in the spotlight for poor working conditions in its supply chains. In India, the southern production hubs of Bangalore and Tirupur have been under scrutiny for labour and human rights violations, which include
- Denial of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- Unreasonably high production targets
- Harassment and verbal abuse of women workers, usually to extract higher productivity
- Low wages
To address these concerns, Cividep focuses on analyzing working conditions and barriers to decent work, creating labour rights awareness through training, providing legal assistance to workers and guiding dialogue between stakeholders.
From Modern Slavery to Self Reliance
Issue: Vulnerability of Migrant Workers
Focus: Mapping of the workers’ background and addressing human and labour rights violation
The purpose of this project is to map the socioeconomic background of migrant women workers, their place of origin, factory and hostel experiences in Bangalore, and any violations concerning wages, shopfloor conditions, health and safety (including freedom from harassment and abuse) and hostel arrangements. A Worker Resource Centre provides access to legal and personal counseling, as well as an opportunity to migrants to interact with local workers in an otherwise difficult environment.
Women’s Supervisory Training Programme (WSTP)
Issue: Lack of organised training among women workers.
Focus: Organising WSTP to train women workers for supervisory roles.
Reduce Violence against Women (VAW) in Export-oriented Garment Factories in India
Issue: Shopfloor harassment of women workers
Focus: Sensitisation of floor managers to the issues and setting up of anti-harassment committees
Statutory Creches in Bangalore Garment Factories
Issue: Lack of childcare amenities in workplace
Focus: Needs assessment and collaboration to establish crèches
In 2015, Cividep conducted a needs assessment of garment workers’ childcare needs in collaboration with FEMNET Germany. This was followed by a project to upgrade existing factory crèches and collaborate with brands and suppliers to establish functional crèches in other units, in keeping with national and state law. The project was supported by BMZ.