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EU Par wants India FTA to address "child, bonded labour"issues

Press Trust of India | 20 April 2009

EU Par wants India FTA to address "child, bonded labour"issues

London, Apr 20 (PTI) — "Concerned" over "child and bonded labour" in India, the European Parliament has strongly pressed the European Union to include the issues in the Free Trade Agreement talks with New Delhi, which is stoutly against inclusion of social issues in commercial deals.

A resolution adopted by Strasbourg-based European Parliament last month asked the European Commission to insist on India to address the issue of child labour in the FTA, negotiations for which started in 2007.

It said the European Parliament "is concerned about the use of child labour in India, which is very often exploited in unsafe and unhealthy conditions...Asks Commission to address the issue during negotiations on the FTA." The resolution wanted the Indian government "to maximise its efforts to remove the underlying causes in order to end this phenomenon".

The European Parliament also sought pressure on India to tackle the issue of "bonded labour" affecting "millions of people — largely from Dalit and Adivasi community... It is believed this issue is not being adequately addressed due to lack of administrative and political will".

India has strongly been opposing efforts to include social and environmental issues in the multilateral and bilateral trade talks — be it FTAs or under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation.

 source: PTI