Leather industry reacts to ICN human rights report

16 March 2017

A long-awaited report on human rights issues in the Indian leather supply chain has been published.

Human rights organisation India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) called for greater transparency after finding that around 2.5 million workers often face unacceptable working conditions.

The report outlines how toxic chemicals used in tanneries often negatively impact the health of the workers, and other issues include pay below the stipulated minimum wage, child labour, exploitation of home-based workers, difficulty organizing in trade unions and discrimination.

In total, 19 companies, including the 12 ETI members such as C&A, H&M, Primark, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Next, TESCO, Sainsbury and Pentland, have reacted to the report as well as two CSR initiatives: the Leather Working Group and MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands).

ICN reports that most companies recognise the urgency to address the issues identified in the research, and some shared concrete commitments to combat adverse human rights and environmental impacts in their supply chain.

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