UnionAID Fact Sheet 11 Supporting real change: India
Project gains in human rights The UnionAID Tamil Nadu project is delivering real gains in fundamental human rights for Dalit (untouchable) and Tribal (indigenous) workers. These are: Gender equality and women’s empowerment •
Improved women’s entitlements under union agreements
strong participation and leadership by women
a reported reduction in domestic violence from 25‐15%
increasing education of girls in Dalit and Tribal families.
Reduction in discrimination •
Union membership has reduced discrimination and engendered respect from dominant castes.
Reduction in forced or bonded labour •
The project work has significantly reduced bonded and forced labour.
Reduction in child labour •
Child labour is being reduced mainly because collective power has prevented dominant castes from forcing their children into their homes to provide unpaid domestic labour,
Right to organise and bargain collectively •
This right is being exercised through union membership and the collective bargaining which is occurring.
Equal pay •
The project is committed to equal pay and the negotiated pay agreements reflect this.
The right to life and security of person •
Union membership has given them protection against both violence from “dominant castes” and harassment and violence from the police.
The right to work •
Union cooperatives have been established to create and maintain viable employment in the production of products and services where union members have skills.
The right to education •
Improvements in pay and work conditions have enabled a greater number of Dalit and Tribal families to send their children to school.