Article sur les enfants travaillant pour Gap en Inde

Publié le 31 octobre 2007 par Moushette
Pour ceux que ça intéresse, il y a plus de photos dans l'article original (voir lien ci dessous).
Depuis des siècles, l'Inde embauche des enfants pour ce genre de travaux fins (broderies, tapis...) car leurs doigts sont plus agiles que les doigts de adultes..... Mais ce n'est pas une excuse, ce genre d'article me donne la nausée... Je vois mon fils dans tout ces regards, ces corps maigres, ces cheveux raides, ces doigts si délicats... Sur qui j'ai envie de me mettre en colère ? Sur Gap peu regardant sur ses fournisseurs, ou plutôt sur le bourreaux de ces petits esclaves innocents ??????
'Gap sweatshop children' saved in India raidBy Peter Foster in New Delhi
Last Updated: 2:23am GMT 30/10/2007
Police have rescued 14 children from a New Delhi sweatshop at the centre of a scandal involving US clothing giant Gap.
Despite reports over the weekend that a Gap supplier had sub-contracted work to the illegal sweatshop in the Shahpur Jat area of Delhi, Indian police did not raid the address until the Daily Telegraph produced photographs of the children still at work.
The Telegraph visited the complex posing as a buyer for a fictional boutique fashion outlet in London.
After negotiations with managers to view the quality of the workmanship and photograph samples, The Telegraph was shown to a series of 12 dingy rooms where both adults and children squatted on the floor performing delicate embroidery and stitching.
Photographs of the children, many of whom appeared shockingly young, were shown to the child rights charity Global March Against Child Labour, who immediately contacted police. Authorities raided the building a few hours later.
The boys, some as young as eight, looked utterly terrified as a police inspector explained that they were working illegally and would shortly be returned to their families.
There were chaotic scenes as the children, many dressed in little more than their underwear, were given a few minutes to dress and gather their few belongings before being ushered from the premises in a pitiful crocodile.
"Once we saw the photographs we knew that we had to act fast," said Bhuwan Ribhu, a Delhi lawyer and activist with the Indian branch of Global March Against Child Labour.
"The children are aged eight to 15 and at least three of them have told me already that they were working for no pay at all."
After their rescue, the children, who come from impoverished families in rural West Bengal, eastern India, were taken to a local police station where they were processed.
They were then handed over to Global March, which runs a rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of New Delhi.
"First the children will be given something to eat and then we'll try and make them comfortable for the night. Then the process of getting them financial compensation and returning them to their villages and families will begin," Mr Ribhu said.
Under India's Bonded Labour Act, each of the underage workers is entitled to 20,000 rupees (£250) in compensation from the Indian government, in order to prevent them from returning to work.
The United Nations estimates that 55 million children aged from 5 to 14 are currently employed in the domestic and business sectors in India, producing up to 20 per cent of India's annual GDP.
"Many of the children are conned from their parents by unscrupulous people-trafficking operations," Mr Ribhu said.
"The agents make promises that the children will earn thousands of rupees and make their fortune in the big cities.""
But in reality, most work for nothing except their food for at least the first 12 months and then earn between 1,200 and 1,500 rupees (£15-£19) a month, which is half the minimum wage of 3,200 rupees (£40)."
Conditions in the Shahpur Jat sweatshop are typical of those found all over India. Children sit crouched on their haunches for 12 hours a day, stitching sequins and braiding onto richly embroidered garments, mostly for the domestic market.
After news broke that a Gap supplier had been using child labour - a piece of Gap packaging was still on view at Shahpur Jat - the company immediately ordered an investigation, describing the allegations as "deeply upsetting".
"We appreciate that the media identified this subcontractor and we acted swiftly in this situation. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments," said a spokesman for Gap, which employs 90 inspectors to ensure suppliers follow the company's guidelines.
However, such is the prevalence of child labour in India's textile industry - where a vacant attic or residential bedroom filled with children can turn a healthy profit - that activists say major chains need to work harder to stamp out the problem.
With poverty still widespread in India - almost half of all children are malnourished - many Indian small and family businesses justify hiring children on the basis that they provide them with a life and livelihood.
Children are particularly prized in the textile industry for their nimble fingers, which are able to stitch the tiniest beads onto the decorative kurtas and saris which are worn on special occasions.
After the police raid, the man responsible for bringing the children to Delhi, Sheikh Mubidul, was to be found not in hiding, but giving interviews to local TV stations, angrily denouncing the police action.
"The children came from Madnipur District, West Bengal, and their parents sent them with me so they could learn how to work and get enough to eat," he said.
"In their villages they have nothing, so we help them in this way."
Asked if he thought is was wrong to condemn children to a life of labour at such a young age, he replied: "They have no food to eat, so they must work. What else can they do?"

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