Dutch blight on textiles flares up B’lore Court Orders Arrest Warrants Against Campaigning NGOs
AS GLOBAL NGOs step up their campaign against labour issues in India’s beleaguered garment industry, a Bangalore court has issued arrest warrants against the honchos of the Netherlands-based Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) for running a malafide campaign against a city-based exporter. The court said organisations led by CCC, known for crusades against global brands like Nike and Donna Karan, were spearheading an international campaign with “an oblique motive to harm and damage the image of the country”. The court order delivered a forthnight ago is fast snowballing into a confrontation between India and international human rights watchdogs. Amnesty International called for dropping the charges against the activists and condemned “the Indian authorities for repeatedly failing to take action against the practice of filing unsubstantiated criminal charges against defenders of workers rights”. Union commerce minister Kamal Nath, meanwhile, shot off a letter to EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson and the Dutch foreign minister, stating that the NGOs were effectively building trade barriers for domestic garment exporters. He hinted that it would bring pressure on his government to consider curbs on EU imports.