Investigations reveal forced labour in Hugo Boss supply chain

​Further to Hugo Boss' discovery that part of its Indian supply chain, Tamil Nadu’s Best Corporation, is engaged in forced labour practices, an investigation has unveiled the captivity of female workers at the firm.

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investigations by English newspaper The Guardian found that female workers were forced to stay on the Best Corporation premises, restricting their freedom of movement. The newspaper also revealed that the firm supplies a number of UK high street brands such as Next and Mothercare in addition to Hugo Boss.

In 2016, Hugo Boss discovered the breach of worker rights when compiling their Sustainability Report, saying in a statement: “Hugo Boss has been in regular contact and intensive exchange with the body-wear supplier to work on changes together and to achieve improvements in the mentioned areas.”

Best Corporation itself has acknowledged that it did keep female workers from leaving its premises but maintained that it was for the safety of the female workers as the factory is in a rural area. However, workers from the factory itself have been quoted as stating that such imprisonment is against their will.

The India Committee of the Netherlands recently surveyed 743 spinning mills in India. “Mill owners usually defend themselves on the pretext of protecting the girls from abuse far away from home,” said Gerard Oonk, the organisation’s Director, “but locking young women up for years at a time is not the answer.”

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