Anti-Discrimination

Deepika Rao on Garment Workers in Bangalore

04 February 2019

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 18.66MB - Duration: 13:35 m (192 kbps 44100 Hz)

In this podcast, Deepika Rao, Programme Director of Cividep, India, talks to IHRB's Salil Tripathi about the living and working conditions of female migrant workers in the garment industry in Bangalore. She discusses Cividep's research on the hostels that house the female migrant workers, many of whom are underage. Deepika describes how these women have travelled very long distances from their home villages and are transported into an alien culture. They do not speak the language, are often not aware of their rights and have no social groups to fall back on. Their movement is very restricted, due to fear of gender-based violence. Cividep has undertaken speaker tours in order to inform brands of these conditions in their supply chains in an attempt to engage them to act. Cividep also campaigns for these workers to be better informed of their rights, either through unions or other NGOs, in order to prevent circular migration and human rights violations. 

Deepika has been working with Cividep for the past four years. She holds a Bachelors degree in Marine Engineering and a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship. Her previous work experience has been that of working on merchant oil tankers as a maintenance engineer. Cividep educates workers, studies effects of corporate conduct, initiates dialogue with stakeholders, and advocates for policy change.

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