#Against modern slavery - Active in Germany

Serious labour law violations in the spinning mills

The Sumangali system and the associated human rights violations in Indian spinning mills have long been neglected in the public debate around fair working conditions. The garment supply chain consists of various production sequences. Abuses in the production stage for sewing of clothing increasingly attracts attention, but the conditions in the upstream production stages are not yet sufficiently investigated and questioned. With a nationwide campaign #against modern slavery, we are campaigning to make the devastating working conditions in the spinning mills public and have thus paved the way for the abolition of the Sumangali system.


Campaign review #against modern slavery


Speakers Tour "The modern form of slavery in Indian spinning mills" in May 2016

From May 9th to 20th, 2016, FEMNET, in cooperation with partner organisations, organised a nationwide lecture tour with two experts from India. The scientist Dr. Anibel Ferus-Comelo, author of the study, and Mary Viyakula, staff member of the FEMNET partner organisation SAVE (Social Awareness & Voluntary Education) reported on the Sumangali system and the related human rights violations at public events in several German cities.

Symposium on 12 May 2016. © FEMNET

Symposium for companies, trade unions, NGOs on "Working conditions in spinning mills in South India

At a conference of FEMNET and the Clean Clothes Campaign on 12th May 2016, members of the Textiles Partnership - including companies, NGOs, trade unions and representatives of the BMZ - discussed the brutal exploitation of young girls by the Sumangali system. Discussions focused particularly on a new approach for a multi-stakeholder initiative presented by Indian NGOs, which aims to improve working conditions across the sector and eliminate the Camp Labour system. It culminated in our Tamil Nadu Alliance Initiative.

Study on the "Sumangali" system

The study The Modern Form of Slavery in Indian Spinning Mills (PDF file) by our partner organisation CIVIDEP sheds light on the brutal methods, the victims and the extent of the "Sumangali" or Camp Labour system. We confronted decision makers from politics and economy, trade unions and NGOs, representatives of the clothing industry as well as a broad public in Germany with the results in the context of a symposium and a lecture tour as well as further educational measures and press work.