India Intelligence Report

   Cotton Industry Tries to End Child Labor



  • Serious attempt to eliminate 21,000 child labor in cottonseed farms

  • 10% financial incentive not to use children

  • Call for fair support price to ensure children are not used for labor

Several stakeholders in the cotton industry came together in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh to end the employment of an estimated 21,000 children in cottonseed production farms. India has an estimated 1.66 million working children and the ones in Kurnool and Mahbubnagar account for 7% of total child labor in India.

The Association of Seed Industry (ASI), the Seesmen Association (SA), Consortium of Employers’ Association for the Elimination of Child Labor (CEASE), and the International Labor Organization (ILO) led the charge and several companies joined the campaign. The Child Labor Elimination Project (CLEP) said that the provide financial incentives for not employing child labor saying that they will pay 10% more per packet of cotton seeds produced without child labor. The ASI and CLEP have so far spent over Rs. 70 Lakhs (USD 150,000) on this initiative.

An ILO representative however warned that seed manufacturers should share the responsibility and ensure “reasonable support price” because farmers will return to child labor if they not get enough margins for their produce.