Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Fwd: Dutch Parliament is pro-Dalits | Online Control in India | Impact report 'Captured by Cotton' | Unilever Assam denies union rig

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gerard Oonk <>
Date: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 8:37 PM
Subject: Dutch Parliament is pro-Dalits | Online Control in India |
Impact report 'Captured by Cotton' | Unilever Assam denies union rig
To: ICN.India.News@server.liw.local

Dear reader,
Please find below IndiaNews with news on the activities and results of
the India Committee of the Netherlands and the coalitions and
organizations it co-operates with.
Large majority in Dutch parliament supports motion to combat caste
On the 30th of June the Dutch Parliament adopted a motion requesting
the Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue an active approach to
combat caste-based discrimination and improving the position of the
roughly 250 million Dalits (so-called 'outcastes') in South Asian
countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
An almost two-third majority of Dutch Parliament (95 out of 150
members) of the opposition parties like the Social Democrats, the
Christian Union, the GreenLeft Party, the Socialist Party as well as
the ruling Christian Democrats, supported the motion. The Dutch
Minister of Foreign affairs, Dr. U. Rosenthal, said that he can take
the four specific requests in the motion into his policy. Read the
press release of DNN and the text of the motion here:
Motion on EU-India Free Trade ageement, child labour and Dalits
In December 2010 the Dutch also adopted a motion on the EU-India Free
Trade Agreement specifically which said: ''request the government to
exert its efforts in the European context for a robust sustainability
chapter, in which among other things is being aimed at: the reduction
of child labour, the improvement of the position of Dalits, the
availability of medicines for HIV/AIDS and a dispute settlement
mechanism; and not to be agree with strongly weakened compromise''.
See the full text:
'End of Free Speech' – Online Control in India
Director of the India Committee of the Netherlands, Gerard Oonk, has
given an interview to on the threat to free
speech that is the result of the new Indian Information Technology
Rules 2011..
Oonk: ''The consequences [of these new Rules] will be that not only
the government but everybody can ask for certain web content to be
taken down by using their own interpretation of the present criteria
which are extremely general and broad. Criteria such as 'disparaging',
'hateful', 'harassing' and even 'blasphemous' can be interpreted very
differently by different people. Also criteria such as 'web content
that is potentially damaging to the relations with other countries' is
so broad, that it can apply to anything critical being written about
those countries.''
See the full interview here:
Impact of report 'Captured by Cotton'
Politicians and the business community see the need to tackle the
clothing industry
The report 'Captured by Cotton' by SOMO and the India Committee of the
Netherlands (ICN) was recently published, looking at South Indian
girls and young women who are making our clothing in wretched
conditions. This evoked responses from businesses and politicians, and
was given a great deal of media coverage. Read more about the
follow-up of the report here:
The report itself and a number of articles published on it (including
in The Hindu) in India major newspapers can be found here:
Four years after punishing lockout, one year after OECD agreement,
Unilever Assam workers still waiting for their union to be recognized:
An account of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel,
Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF):
Business is doing well at Unilever's personal products factory at Doom
Dooma in the Indian state of Assam. But nearly 4 years after
management tried to destroy the union with a punishing 6-week lockout,
and almost one year since the IUF and Unilever formally concluded an
agreement to settle the dispute under the auspices of the UK
government, the workers are still waiting for their union to be
recognized as their collective bargaining agent. The workers' mood is
one of deepening frustration. How has this happened?
Read the full story here:
Eyewitness Account: Child Labor in North India's Hand-Woven Carpet Sector
The carpet belt of North India stretches across the state of Uttar
Pradesh from the town of Allahabad, east to Bhadohi, ending in the
rural reaches beyond Varanasi. I have visited this area several times
across the last decade, and despite recent pronouncements by the
government of India that child labour no longer exists in the
country's hand-woven carpet sector, there are still innumerable shacks
and village huts in this area in which children as young as 10 years
of age are coerced to work 16 or more hours a day weaving carpets for
export to Europe and North America.
Read the full story here:
Kind regards,
Gerard Oonk

director India committee of the Netherlands
Mariaplaats 4e,  3511 LH Utrecht
tel. 030-2321340


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