The British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith, on Tuesday launched a Responsible Migration project in Ranchi aimed at spreading awareness among migrants to ensure safe migration for work.
“I am delighted to launch this project alongside well-known British brand Marks & Spencer. Initiatives like this help promote responsible employment practices and cleaner supply chains. The UK Government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable workers across the globe. The UK and India are working together, as a global Force for Good, to build a future where forced labour and exploitation are truly a thing of the past,” said Asquith.
Many workers from Jharkhand migrate to larger cities, including Delhi-NCR, for jobs in garment factories or employment as domestic workers. In addition to the uncertainty around finding a steady job, they are often vulnerable to exploitative living and working conditions, said a press communiqué from the British High Commission.
By mapping the stakeholders involved in recruitment and measuring the scale of the issue in the ready-made garment sector, the project will look to strengthen communities and tackle the problems they face through policy advocacy and awareness.
The project is jointly funded by the UK Government and Marks & Spencer and partnered by Partnering Hope into Action (PHIA) Foundation, a civil society organization.
Under the project, the stakeholders will implement a research study and awareness building programmes for factory workers and communities in Jharkhand and Gurgaon.
Industry Secretary K Ravi Kumar, who attended the launch on Tuesday, said that Jharkhand is committed to employing more women and checking their rampant migration to other States in search if livelihood.
Fiona Saddler, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Marks & Spencer stressed that Human Rights is a fundamental part of Marks & Spencer.
She spoke on their commitment to eradicate all forms of modern slavery and promote safe migration. She appealed that to address the issue of unsafe migration a collaborative engagement amongst the corporates, Government and civil society is essential.
Anand Kumar Bolimera, Director, PHIA Foundation said, “We are excited to have this partnership with the British High Commission and M&S to promote responsible migration in the garment sector. PHIA Foundation is committed to empowering the poor and most marginalised groups and to raising awareness amongst migrant communities of their safety, rights and entitlements.”
The launch ceremony was held at Orient Craft Factory in Ranchi. Sudhir Dhingra, Chairman and MD, Orient Craft thanked the Government for extending support to the establishment.
The factory has been able to provide individuals particularly women with productive livelihood options close to their homes and this has been a game changer, he said.