In an undercover investigation conducted by BBC Panorama, it was found that Syrian refugee children have been making clothes for British shoppers. The kids were found working in factories in Turkey.
Brands like Marks and Spencer, Zara and Mango jeans have claimed that they monitor their supply chains and do not tolerate the exploitation of refugees or children.
Investigation Reports It was found seven Syrians working in one of the British retailer’s main factories. They earn little more than a pound an hour. One of the refugees told that they are badly treated in the factory, and when something happens to them, they are thrown like a piece of cloth.
Another 15-year-old worker informed that he works more than 12 hours a day ironing clothes. There are many other refugees who have no work permits, and many of them work illegally in the garment industry.
“They speak of pitiful wages and terrible working conditions. They know they are being exploited, but they know that refugees can do nothing about it,” says Panorama reporter Darragh Macintyre, as reported by BBC.
7 to 8-year-old children sew boxer shorts. Kids do not go to school as they get exhausted from working 60 hours a week.
In another Istanbul factory, Syrian adults work alongside Turkish children who are as young as 10.
What Has Iconic Brands To Say? According to the spokesperson of Marks and Spencer, the program’s findings are extremely serious and unacceptable to M&S. They are also said to be offering permanent legal employment to any Syrians who were employed in the factory. They do not tolerate such breaches of these principles, and they would do anything to ensure that it does not happen again.
Another spokeswoman of Mango brand said that Mango has zero tolerance towards the practices described in the ‘Panorama’.
“It’s a subject we take incredibly seriously. But it would be wrong for us to comment on reporting we haven’t seen.” said an ASOS spokeswoman.
ASOS says the children will be financially supported so they can return to school and the adult refugees will be paid a wage until they have been found legal work.
Past Incidents A month back, owner of Zara, Amancio Ortega was declared as the richest person. His bank balance has overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates fortune. But the recent findings by Panorama has cleared the picture of how innocent kids are being driven in the shackles of child labor and brands like Zara, Mango Jeans and Marks and Spencer are themselves employing kids to work for them.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.