Peaceful, sustainable and inclusive development through greater business accountability and transparency (SDG 16)

Oxfam: Introduction

  1. Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice
  • Target 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice

Rule of Law- Minimum Wages

For instance, labour laws are a testament to the struggles of the working class, and therefore speak to the human rights obligations each business should uphold, whether in the form of fair wages, standardised working hours, or social security. Arguably, one of the biggest challenges to upholding these obligations takes the form of the non-implementation of existing laws.   In India, the major laws regulating wages are the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.  There are a large number of instances of non-compliance in regard to laws regulating wages. For instance, a 2008 study in the Gogunda block of Udaipur district in Rajasthan revealed that 68% of surveyed workers ‘had suffered a grave labour law violation in the previous year alone[1]’.  The study had covered 300 workers from sectors such as construction, textile markets in Surat in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, hotel/restaurants and porters at various vegetable markets. The survey showed that most of the disputes between workers and employers pertained to payment, work hours and overtime, accident/ compensation, and physical/ mental harassment, however, a majority of these violations pertained to payment of wages.[2]

The extent of non-compliance is also evident from a 2018 study of migrant workers belonging to various tribes in the southern Rajasthan-Gujarat belt. The study estimated wage frauds in the construction sector alone to be in the range of Rs 6,400 crores per annum.[3] According to Ajeevika Bureau which conducted the aforementioned studies, in the Rajasthan-Gujarat labour corridor alone, the organisation registered an average of 2,000 cases of wage denials and frauds a year for between 2016 and 2019.[4]

Rule of Law-Forced Labour

India has the largest number of persons affected by forced labour in the world[5]. The Global Slavery Index estimated in 2016 there were nearly 8 million people living in forced and bonded labour conditions in India. In terms of prevalence, it said that there were 6.1 victims for every thousand people.[6] The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, is the primary legislation that aims to abolish the practice of bonded and forced labour. According to the National Human Rights Commission, since the commission was founded in 1993, it has “registered 14,614 cases of bonded labour, out of which 13,266 cases have been disposed”[7]. However, in an overwhelming number of cases conviction of employers does not take place. According to the NHRC itself, while as many as 25,477 bonded labourers were identified across the country between January 2006 and December 31, 2015, however, only in 277 cases the legal process reached the stage of conviction[8].

A case in point would be of the spinning industry of Tamil Nadu, where mills part of the supply chain of American and European clothing brands, were found to be engaging in a range of exploitative labour practices[9]. These included employing bonded and child labour who had to work for long hours, low wages, their movement was restricted and mobile phone usage monitored.

Rule of Law- Occupational Safety and Health hazard

Unsafe and hazardous work conditions are one of the leading causes of death and disability among India’s workers.  In a 2006 study, the ILO estimated that around 4,03,000 people died every year in India due to work‐related problems.[10] The principal health and safety law is the Factories Act, 1948 which been amended in 1954, 1990, 1976 and 1987. The Act is applicable only to factories that employ 10 or more workers. Other key legislation dealing with occupational safety and health (OSH) are Mines Act, 1952[11], Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986[12]; Plantation Labour Act, 1951[13]; Explosives Act, 1884[14]; Petroleum Act, 1934[15]; Insecticide Act, 1968[16]; Indian Boilers Act, 1923[17]; Dangerous Machines (Regulations) Act, 1923[18]; Indian Atomic Energy Act, 1962[19]; Radiological Protection Rules, 1971[20]; Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989[21]; and Electricity Act, 2002[22].

A 2019 study[23] that surveyed 1,369 injured workers in the auto sector found:

  1. 93%of them were making components for Maruti-Suzuki, Honda or Hero.
  2. 83% of machines had no/malfunctioning safety sensors.
  3. 48% of workers felt excessive production pressure from supervisors.
  4. 52% accidents happen on only one type of machine – the power press.
  5. 70% were in lower tiers (2/3/4) of auto-sector supply chain.
  6. 65% were below 30 years of age and a similar percentage were contract workers.
  7. 47% lacked or had poor quality of safety gear.

According to the ILO, available government reflect a decreasing trend in occupational injuries in the manufacturing and mining sectors. However, as unregistered factories and mines are not covered in official statistics, the real extent of occupational injuries could be much more. For instance, between 2011 and 2016, only 562 cases of occupational diseases were reported to the government. [24]  A 2016 study on the awareness of Silicosis among stones mine workers in Jodhpur and Nagaur district of Rajasthan found that out of the 305 surveyed mine workers only 21.38% workers of Nagaur district and 13.13% of Jodhpur district subjects had knowledge of silicosis symptoms[25].

16.7.1: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

Gender and caste diversity is sorely missing at the base as well at the very top of the Indian business pyramid. According to a 2018-19 study, there are only about three women for every 100 CEOs and managing directors amongst companies listed on the National Stock Exchange. [26]

According to the same study out of the total sample of 1,814 chief executives and MDs of NSE-listed companies, only 67, or 3.69% are women as of March 6, 2019.[27] The study claimed that the percentage of women CEOs/MDs has remained virtually stagnant “since March 2014 when out of 1,249 CEOs/MDs, 40, or 3.2%, were women”[28].

If leadership roles are a monopoly of men the other end of the spectrum doesn’t seem to fare better for women. In general, the female labour force participation rate has been slowing down in India. According to the ILO, the share of working-age women who report either being employed or being available for work—dropped to 23.3% in 2017-18 from 37.9 in 2209-10. When we look at working conditions for women we find that they often get the short end of the stick. For instance, in the tea industry, numerous studies have documented a gross violation of the rights of women workers in the remote tea estates located mainly in the north-eastern state of Assam. These include a lack of medical care, poor working conditions[29], and subjugation[30] and loss of rights that particularly women[31] face. For instance, an Oxfam study found that ‘although wages are set at an industry level, permanent workers across the districts studied are paid a cash component of between INR 137 and INR 170 (€1.78–€2.21) a day”[32].  Women get the short end of even this unfair bargain. The same study reported that, “including unpaid domestic work, women tea workers undertake up to 13 hours of physical labour per day after just six hours’ rest. They do the labour-intensive, low-paid task of plucking tea, while men get the better paid, more respected factory jobs. They are excluded from decision making and from pay and working conditions negotiations, partly due to being under-represented in trade unions”[33]

The scenario is similar when it comes to the caste diversity of Indian businesses. According to data shared by industry associations regarding affirmative action taken by their member companies with the department of industrial policy and promotion, only 19% (out of the 17,788 member companies), have adopted the ‘voluntary code of conduct for affirmative action[34]. Additionally, the State of Working India’ report 2018 found that the “caste-based segregation and disparities persist, but have reduced in some areas”. For instance, “scheduled castes are 18.5 per cent of all workers but 46 per cent of leather workers”.  Similarly, SC, as well as ST groups, are over-represented in low paying occupations and severely under-represented in high paying occupations. However, in contrast, both SC and ST groups are much better represented in public administration indicating the success of reservation policies over the years.[35]

Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Following a remedial and protectionist framework becomes difficult where the state-corporate nexus operates with impunity. Threats, intimidations and killings of environmental and human rights defenders and whistleblowers have become a concern in the country. Also under threat are and fundamental freedoms of individuals such as the right to life, freedom of association and freedom of speech and expression. A 2016 study[36] by Global Witness, which reports on human rights abuses and environmental violations, stated that India witnessed a “three-fold spike in such killings in 2016” with 16 persons murdered after they exposed violations and malpractices.  Similarly, according to data collected by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, between 2016 and 2019, at least 68 incidents of arbitrary detention, physical attacks, disappearance and killings took place, in a majority of these cases the victims were community leaders, human rights defenders, environment defenders, and journalists.

The presence of unions and worker collectives themselves in discouraged by businesses. According to the ILO’s India Wage Report 2018, both public and private sector companies have been adopting various means to do so. For instance, by “shifting production to ancillary units or less developed areas where labour is cheaper and unions are almost completely absent, and through subcontracting and outsourcing. In other cases, “employers have been offering existing union members incentives to leave and non-members incentives not to join”. And, finally, “there is a reported tendency towards victimization and dismissal of union members”.[37]

Chapter 1

Guide: Detail Chapter 1: GoI’s SDG Reporting Frameworks

a. Mapping laws, policies, schemes and programmes by the GoI with regard to issues related to SDG 16 from the point of view of business responsibility;

b. Existing scope of official reporting by GoI, including national indicators on SDG 16.


Transparency, accountability and the responsibility of businesses to adhere to and promote the rule of law have been underscored in the introductory chapter. While the indicators under SDG16 are varied, this chapter focuses specifically on three targets i.e. SDG16.3, 16.6 and 16.10, and their corresponding indicators to highlight the extent to which the government has addressed this in its own framework.

Central to promoting the rule of law would be equal access to justice for all. A particular emphasis in this regard should be paid to the remedial needs of vulnerable sections; which includes marginalized social groups, such as Dalits, Adivasis, women, children, minorities and those working in the informal and unorganised sectors, all of whom often struggle to access justice[38].

India’s response to domestic human rights violations has remained largely reactive; for instance, its amendment or enactment of a number of laws following the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster. Over the years, the country has evolved a broad regulatory framework through which one can view business and human rights this includes Constitutional law, a corpus of labour laws—almost 50 central laws, and 200 state ones[39], the Companies Act 2013, the Right to Information Act 2005 and the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2014, among others.

Through an SDG16 lens: Business and Human Rights:

  • Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice
  • Target 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

The following chapter seeks to map the constellation of schemes, policies and laws regarding business and human rights. The following table displays the relevant indicators and targets relevant to this mapping exercise:

16.3: Promote the Rule of Law Ensure equal access to justice for all:

The Constitution of India guarantees an extensive list of fundamental rights directly of relevance to business and human rights, thereby calling for remedy in case of violation: the right to life and liberty, right to equality before the law; freedom to assemble peacefully freedom of speech and expression; freedom to form associations or unions; prohibition of human trafficking/ forced labour; among others. The right to life has been expanded to include health, clean water, livelihood, a safe environment, privacy, etc.

Rule of Law- Minimum Wages

A 2015 study[40] of 35 enterprises and 289 workers in the garment industry in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon reveal the extent to which workers (both permanent and contractual) are deprived of the overtime wages they are entitled to under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. According to the study, less than 25% of the workers paid time rates received the stipulated overtime rates, which is twice ordinary wages paid.  Moreover, 14.4 % of workers said they received no overtime rates.

Among the contractor employed workforce, only 4.6 per cent say that they get a double-overtime rate while 84 per cent get no overtime or only a single overtime.

Interestingly, underscoring the variation between overtime wages, nearly 33% of workers recruited directly by enterprises said they receive the stipulated overtime rates and about half were paid at a single rate. The study also found a significant difference between workers on indefinite employment and those casually employed. According to the study, among the former, a third get double-overtime rates while among the latter, only 11 per cent get these rates for overtime work.[41]

In 2019, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) captured the status of minimum wages of workers in 29 industrial zones across Delhi. The report found that “most of the workers were not granted any kind of leave and their overtime wages were not being paid”. It found that a ‘single rate’ was being paid and in some cases, attendance was being manipulated to show false compliance. In regard to the Minimum Wages Act, the report noted that “salary slips were not given in most of the cases and there was no consistency in wages, with a major chunk of over 35% workers being paid only Rs.5,000-6,000 per month, while only a limited section of 7% are getting wages close to Rs. 8,000-9,000 per month”.[42]

In 2018, the Delhi government’s ‘Operation Minimum Wages’ found at least 79 establishments “violating labour laws prescribed for businesses employing a workforce”, only three establishments were booked by the police for violations while the rest were referred to the Labour Department for ‘scrutiny’.[43]

Rule of Law-Forced Labour

Among the different forms of forced labour defined by the ILO, we look at bonded, debt bondage and overtime in this section. In the southern state of Karnataka, a 2015 study of over 4,000 labourers was undertaken to ascertain the prevalence of bonded labour including qualifying characteristics of bonded labourers (forfeited freedom of movement, forfeited freedom of employment, payment of less than minimum wage, and/or an obligation or debt) along with other objectives such as the nature of such labour, and migratory patterns.[44] The study covered the districts of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagara. Based on the findings from the interviews of over 4,000 labourers, the study extrapolated that from an estimated total number of 16,70,734 labourers in the three districts:

  1. “33.4% could be bonded labourers
  2. about 40% of those surveyed were in bondage in brick kilns, fish farms, plantations, rock quarries, rice mills, tobacco, and “other” industries
  3. 92 percent of labourers surveyed belonged to SC/ST communities
  4. 50.5 percent bonded labourers originating from Karnataka were being paid below minimum wage
  5. 36.6 percentage of bonded labourers worked all seven days a week.
  6. 79.5% of migrant labourers had taken an advance under the condition that they would migrate out of the state to work at the factory until the advance was paid back (64.1% of these were illiterate so it was unclear whether they understood the terms of their employment.)

For 80% of current workers, working for 6 days a week was normal, while 20% reported working all days. Three-quarters usually worked 8 hours per day, but the remainder (25%) worked more than 10 hours, including more than 12% who reported working 12 hours or more. A clear majority (79%) said that they were required by their employer to work more hours or days than was initially agreed, either on an occasional (41%) or regular (38%) basis.

While bonded labour is certainly the most severe violation of labour norms, there are other forms of forced labour such as unpaid overtime and abusive working conditions. According to a study of garment workers in the National capital region and Bangalore in 2012-13, “for 80% of surveyed workers (450), a 6-day working week was the norm, while 20% reported working 7 days a week”. 

The study noted that a clear majority (79%) of workers said that they were required by their employer to work more hours or days than was initially agreed, either on an occasional (41%) or regular (38%) basis, and around 66% of surveyed workers said “they could not refuse to undertake this work”. If the workers refused to do extra work, the study recorded that, “the penalties for not meeting the targets or doing the required overtime ranged from the most commonly verbal abuse and threats from the supervisor or manager; physical abuse and beatings were much less common, but nonetheless present”[45].

Rule of law: Occupational Safety and Hazard

According to a study done by Business Standard, 121 industrial deaths took place in 2018.  The 13 firms that were part of the analysis employed nearly a million people as both contractual and temporary workers. The report found that “fire-related accidents, fall from height, road accidents and truck handling were some of the common workplace hazards at these firms”. While there is a lot of under-reporting according to experts, certain firms like Tata Steel were forthcoming on the causes of deaths and accidents. The report cites Tata Steel’s own findings that suggest “that inadequate risk assessment and lapses in standard operating procedures (SOPs) contributed to four fatal accidents, one in Europe and three in India in Financial Year 2018.[46]

The automobile manufacturing sector in India is the 4th largest in the world, employing more than 13 million workers and with annual sales of 4 million+ cars amounting to revenues of over USD250 billion.[47] The quality of employment in this sector is critical to the physical and mental health of millions of workers and is a reflection of the country’s business and human rights landscape. A 2019 study comprising 1,369 workers in the Gurgaon region found that most of the accidents and injuries happened because of lapses on the part of the employers. The reasons were as following:

  1. Safety sensors and/or other safety mechanism not working: 83%
  2. Malfunctioning machine (other than 1 above): 51%
  3. Lack of or poor quality safety gear: 47%
  4. Lack of operating and/or safety training: 19%
  5. Excessive production pressure from supervisor: 47%

*The total of the above reasons amounts to more than 100% as these workers report that accidents are often a result of multiple factors.

The study, which was endorsed by the Minister of  State for Labour and Employment concluded that the “root cause of these accidents is the relentless chase for high production at lowest possible cost, irrespective of risks to human life and limb”[48].

16.7.1: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

According to the 2019 Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark study, there are only 11% senior women leaders among corporates in India while the number of women on company boards is only 13% as of 2018. The study found that there is a 30% representation of women in corporate India, with 31% and 26% representation within non-technical and technical roles.[49] The study spanned sixty Indian companies comprising Global Capability Centers (GCCs), technology service providers, startups, and others. Among global multinational companies, the study found that there were only 7% women in top roles in tech companies and 12% in non-tech companies. Among domestic MNCs, the study found that there were only 8% women in top-level jobs in tech companies and 12% in non-tech companies. When it came to domestic companies (classified as non-MNCs), only 4% of the top management were women in tech companies, and 6% in non-tech companies. The gender share in junior and middle-level roles for large companies is at 33%, while for medium-sized companies it is at 27% and for small companies, at 21%.

“Corporate India: Women on boards”, a 2020 evaluation study of the board composition of NIFTY 500 companies, found that 28% of boards have more than 20 per cent women. When disaggregated by MNC and PSU, the study found 19% women in boards of multinationals as compared to PSUs at 11 per cent.[50] The study also noted that almost “44 % of surveyed boards have two or more women directors on their boards, against 21 per cent three years earlier”.[51]

Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are marginalised sections in India. A 2010 study of the top 1,000 Indian companies, covering publicly-listed private and public sector firms found that nearly 93% of board members of surveyed companies were forward caste members; 46%, vaishya and 44% brahmin. The OBCs and SCs/STs had a meagre 3.8% and 3.5% share respectively.[52] Similarly, an analysis by Fortune India of top 100 companies in the Fortune India 500 list noted that, only in four companies, non-upper caste people were at the helm of affairs or in leadership positions.[53]

According to an RTI-based report on affirmative action taken by companies, only 19% (out of the 17,788 member companies), have adopted the ‘voluntary code of conduct for affirmative action[54].

16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements: 

Two legislations play a key role in ensuring the right of workers to form associations and engage in collective bargaining: the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, and the Trade Unions Act 1926. While in addition to dealing with disputes the former also looks at the matter of industrial protests (such as strikes and lock-outs), and establishes an institutional mechanism to deal with this; the latter looks into the registration of trade unions.

As of 2019, India is classified as category 5 i.e. “no guarantee of rights”, by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index[55]. The same report claims that there were many incidents of mass arrests of workers during peaceful demonstrations in the country. For instance, in violation of labour laws and constitutionally guaranteed rights, workers of Chowel India Limited were manhandled by the police and arrested during a strike to protest against the non-disbursal of wages[56]. Under a human rights lens, businesses are obligated to respect workers by not discouraging them from exercising this right. Summoning the police against workers expressing their grievances and a lack of due process repress a worker’s ability to bargain. Employers also engage in numerous ‘trade union busting mechanisms’ that range from physical intimidation and police violence to retrenching workers associated with unions.

The ILO’s India Wage Report 2018 notes instances of employers offering existing union members incentives to leave and non-members incentives not to join. According to the ILO report, “a study involving 447 workplace union representatives of the INTUC showed a high level of employer-sponsored action to break legitimate unions in the private sector, and many instances of management actively offering incentives to workers to dissuade them from joining a genuine union (Badigannavar and Kelly, 2012, and see Table 21)”.[57]  Similarly, the report further noted that, “there is a reported tendency towards victimization and dismissal of union members. Badigannavar and Kelly (2012), in their analysis, show that over 60% of the union representatives in private manufacturing and services— and almost half of those in public services—reported victimization of union representatives by management. Over half of all the union representatives surveyed reported that workers were dismissed during strikes in the private manufacturing and services sectors (Table 21).”[58]

A 2018 study of the extent of CSR disclosure on websites of top 100 ET2014 companies in India, revealed that disclosures under the ‘union or association’ heading is the minimum with only 13% of the companies providing information under this heading.[59]

A study conducted in the NCR region by Mezzadri and Srivastava in the garment sector found that nearly half of the workers surveyed did not join unions out of fear of the consequences if they did[60]. This is further supported by a study[61] of workers in the leather and footwear industry in Agra and Ambur who work in precarious conditions, affected by international market volatility and dilution of labour laws, including the weakening of trade unions. When asked, nearly 50% of the workers interviewed in Ambur claimed that there was no active union in their workplace. 41% of the respondents felt that there was no mechanism for grievance redressal in their factory, while only 4% said they were allowed to hold trade union meetings during work hours. In Agra, 92% of the workers were unaware of the important role that trade unions play in factory life. 97% of those interviewed said that their factories had no trade unions.

Another study of women garment workers found that freedom of association and collective bargaining were not encouraged in the mills (none of the workers interviewed knew what a trade union was, or that they had the right to join one). Other mechanisms of employee-manager dialogue such as ICCs  though mandated by law did not exist[62]

In India, the Whistleblower Protection Act 2014 provides for the protection of whistleblower identity and outlines norms to prevent their victimisation. This has been written into the Companies Act which makes it mandatory for entities that are listed on the stock exchange to set up an audit committee that would investigate internal whistleblower complaints. However, while it provides safeguards against their victimisation, it does not provide a mechanism to protect them. The safeguards are left entirely to the discretion of the companies themselves. For instance, in 2018, about a third of the companies listed in the Nifty index claimed a cumulative tally of 3,508 whistle-blower complaints, up from 3,139 complaints in 2017. Wipro had the highest at 1,526 cases, while Infosys saw 1,168 cases related to disciplinary issues. The share of complaints by whistle-blowers in this was not disclosed[63]. Whistleblower complaints are generally believed to be about corruption allegations and improper conduct at the workplace. About 71% of the cases received by Wipro were resolved.[64]

Information on attacks on activists and whistleblowers is not maintained by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions[65]. The Central Vigilance Commission has been designated by the Central Government as the Agency to act on complaints from the “whistleblowers”. The NCRB records this data as of 2015, however, their latest report did not have it. Figures from 2017 claim that nationally there were 8 attacks on whistleblowers and 26 arrests, while there were 6 attacks on social activists and RTI activists of which there were 22 arrests made[66].

Reporting:

A primary challenge that countries like India face regarding business and human rights is a lack of available data. An effective analysis of accountability and respect of human rights obligations necessarily requires an insight into the actors and institutions that contribute to violations, the state structures and policies– either in force or lacking that affect this, gaps or capacities to address the problems, and an analysis of the legal framework or cases to identify the occurrence of violations to highlight missing information. All of this requires information that would serve as the building blocks on which preventive and remedial frameworks can be drafted.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Index

III. Reporting by businesses on human rights has been now expanded to the top 1000 companies under an amendment passed in January 2020.  As per clause (f) of sub-regulation (2) of regulation 34 of Listing Regulations, the top 1000 companies are required to include in their annual reports a business responsibility report describing the initiatives taken by the listed entity from an environmental, social and governance perspective in the prescribed format.[67]

NITI Aayog

As the coordinating body for SDGs in India, the NITI Aayog is tasked with not merely to periodically collect data on SDGs but to proactively fructify the goals and targets not only quantitatively but also maintaining high standards of quality.

  • SDG Index:

i. 16.3 – Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all; indicator selected: Estimated number of courts per 10 Lakh person

  • SDG Dashboard: same

(In general, the Niti Aayog tends to look at business and human rights from the lens of CSR initiatives)

ii)16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

    Indicators: 16.7.1: Proportion of seats held by women in national Parliament, State Legislation and Local Self Government; 16.7.2: Proportion of SC/ST persons in the elected bodies

iii) 16.1: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Indicator: Percentage of RTI queries responded

Chapter 2

National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC)

The NGRBC Principles profess universal applicability irrespective of the ownership, size, sector, structure or location of businesses. It is expected that all businesses investing or operating in India, including foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) will follow these guidelines.[68]

Out of the nine principles developed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, in accordance with the UNGP, the following principles correspond to the SDG 16 targets (SDG 16.3, 16.7, 16.10) dealt with in this policy brief, these are:

Principle 1. Businesses should conduct and govern themselves with integrity in a manner that is Ethical, Transparent and Accountable.[TR1] [vv2] 

Principle 3. Businesses should respect and promote the well-being of all employees, including those in their value chains.

Principle 4. Businesses should respect the interests of and be responsive to all their stakeholders.

Principle 5. Businesses should respect and promote human rights.

SDG 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

Analysis

SDG 16.3 pertains to promoting the rule of law and ensuring access to justice for all. It is reflected in Principles 3, and 5 of the NGRBC through their respective core elements, viz; Principle 3: Ensuring business compliance of all regulations pertaining to employees and enabling value chain partners to do the same; businesses should not use child labour, coercive or forced labour or any form of involuntary labour, paid or unpaid; ensuring fair and transparent payment of statutory wages of all employees; and, Principle 5: Businesses should ensure that employees are aware of human rights, relevant laws and policies, along with creating grievance redressal mechanisms, lastly businesses should further make sure that any violations of human rights are remedied. 

For principle 3, the core elements that correspond to SDG 16 are Core elements are 1,4,6,7 and 8 as these pertain directly to compliance of laws relating to wages, various forms of labour prohibited under Indian laws, and the status of safety at the workplace. Core element 3 of principle 3 concerns freedom of association and participation of workers and therefore it will be discussed along with SDG 16.10.

For principle 5, the core elements selected here are 1,3 and 5 as they relate to creating awareness of nationals and policies concerning human rights, and ensuring corrective actions taken with regard to adverse human rights impacts and providing access to effective grievance redressal mechanisms.

The NGRBC principles have been prepared by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. By making businesses the primary bearers of the responsibility of upholding, and protecting human rights, the NGRBC principles reflect the vision and spirit enshrined in the UN Guiding Principles in regard to business and human rights. With regard to SDG 16.3, the formulated indicators need to be more representative of the principles and the guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

For example, core elements 1,4,6,7 and 8 of principle 3 enunciate concerns with regard to Minimum Wages, Forced Labour and Occupational Safety and Hazard. Similarly, core elements 1, 3 and 5 of principle 5 clearly articulate the need for businesses to both create awareness of national laws on human rights and expects them to both rectify related violations and provide effective grievance redressal mechanisms.

The national indicator framework lists the following two indicators to measure progress on SDG 16.3:

  1. Number of courts per lakh population
  2. Number of Judges (all levels) per lakh population

By focusing only on a number of judges and courts, the indicators leave out the guidelines, as delineated above in Principles 3 and 5 that businesses themselves must follow with regard to both compliances of all laws and regulations and ensuring access to justice in case of violations. There is adequate data to effectively monitor progress on the compliance of principles enshrined in the NGRBC.

The National Crime Records Bureau[69] maintains annual data  (2018 Crime in India, Chapter 1A, Table 1A.5, p. 78) on violations of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, which pertains to the prohibition of debt bondage. Similarly, in regard to occupational safety and health (OSH), the Ministry of Labour& Employment (MoL&E), maintains data on OSH across sectors through various offices under its charge. For instance, data regarding OSH in the case of Factories[70], is maintained by state governments under the Chief Inspector of Factories (DGFASLI 2017, Standard Reference Note, Chapter 8, pp. 55-80). In the case of Mining, it is held by the Directorate General of Mine Safety[71] (DGMS) (2014, Annual Report, Chapter 2 and 3, pp. 42-72). And, for the port sector, the Directorate General of Factory Advisory Services[72] (DGFASLI) is the repository of such information (2017, Standard Reference Note, Chapter 9, pp. 81-89). 

Moreover, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 consolidates 13 Acts regulating health safety and working conditions– The Factories Act, 1948[73]; The Mines Act, 1952[74]; The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, 1986[75] ; The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996[76], The Plantations Labour Act, 1951[77]; The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970[78]; The Inter-State Migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979[79]; The Working Journalist and other News Paper Employees (Conditions of Service and Misc. Provision) Act, 1955[80]; The Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958[81]; The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961[82]; Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act, 1976[83]; The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966[84] and The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981[85].  

These laws cover those working in factories and mines, building and construction workers, plantation labour, contract labour, inter-state migrant workers, working journalists, among others.  Once enacted, this Code will provide a wide range of information on violations in regard to OSH that can be used as indicators in the national SDG reporting framework. Data can be sourced from the aforementioned bodies and relevant departments to track the progress being made in regard to SDG 16.3 

Evaluating businesses on what they are doing to uphold rule of law and provide effective grievance redressal is also possible. According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), top 1,000 listed companies are required to a separate report on responsible business conduct or ESG matters in their annual reports. This report is known as the Business Responsibility Report (BRR).

Specific information points relating to complaints received on SDG 16.3 violations related to child labour, forced labour, and involuntary labour, can be gleaned from Section E of the suggested format for BRR prepared by SEBI.[86] Similarly, OSH related data can be sourced from Section E of BRR wherein companies are expected to share information on the number of employees who were given safety & skill upgradation training in the last year.[87]

SDG 16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

Analysis
SDG 16.7 pertains to ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. This goal is reflected in Principle 2 of the NGRBC through core element 2, viz; “Businesses should ensure equal opportunities at the time of recruitment, during the course of employment, and at the time of separation without any discrimination”.

The NGRBC principles have been prepared by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. By making businesses the primary bearers of the responsibility of upholding, and protecting human rights without any form of discrimination the NGRBC principle 2 reflects the vision and spirit enshrined in the UN Guiding Principles in regard to business and human rights.

India’s national indicators formulated for SDG 16.7 concern themselves with gender, caste and tribe diversity only in regard to the parliament, state legislation, local self-government and elected bodies.

The indicators are[88]:

a) 16.7.1: Proportion of seats held by women in national Parliament, State Legislation and Local Self Government

b) 16.7.2: Proportion of SC/ST persons in the elected bodies

While gender and caste/tribe diversity in elected bodies is essential, it is also equally important for businesses. Ensuring businesses are participatory, inclusive and representative is a concern that is echoed by Core Element 2 of Principle 3 of the NGRBC, which expects businesses to ensure equal opportunities at the time of recruitment, during the course of employment, and at the time of separation without any discrimination[89]. At the moment, caste-based discrimination is dealt with under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955; and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Data on both these Acts is maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau[90]. Crimes under the latter are categorised under two major heads: (1) Under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Under Special Laws (SL).

What is needed is further disaggregation of data to cover incidence of violations under the said laws at and by businesses (both private sector and PSUs). This would allow for an indicator that monitors the effective compliance of Principle 3 and its core element 2 of the NGRBC. Furthermore, complaints received by the National SC/ST Commission, National Commission for Minorities, and National Commission for Women can be categorised and disaggregated with a view to better track the progress on achieving SDG 16.7 in regard to businesses.

The gender diversity of businesses can also be gleaned from the BRR reporting framework mandated by SEBI. Under Section E of the BRR format which deals with NGRBC principle-wise performance, businesses are expected to report on the following:

Principle 3:

1. Please indicate the total number of employees.

2. Please indicate the total number of employees hired on a temporary/contractual/casual basis.

3. Please indicate the number of permanent women employees

By using the aforementioned data points it would be possible to derive an indicator that reflects the gender diversity of the 1000 largest publicly listed firms.

Another source of information to evaluate steps being taken by businesses is the data industry associations share with the department for Promotion of Industrial and Internal Trade on a quarterly basis. The data pertains to the steps taken by member companies regarding affirmative action[91] and can be utilised to develop indicators more reflective of the NGRBC principle and SDG 16.7.

16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Analysis

SDG 16.10 deals with making sure that there is public access to information, and the protection of fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements. This goal is captured under NGRBC’s Principle 1, Core element 4, Principle 3, Core element 3 and Principle 5, Core element 2.

While Principle 1 states that businesses should conduct and govern themselves with integrity in a manner that is ethical, transparent and accountable, its core element 4 expects businesses to create a governance structure that enables transparent disclosure and communication, and access to information about the policies, procedures, performance (financial and non-financial), and decisions of their enterprise, that impact their stakeholders, especially those that are most at risk to business impacts and communities that are vulnerable and marginalized.

Similarly, with regard to the protection of fundamental freedoms, Principle 3 says, “businesses should respect and promote the well-being of all employees, including those in their value chains”. Its core element 3 further explicitly states that “businesses should promote and respect the right to freedom of association, participation of workers, and collective bargaining of all employees including contract and casual labour and provide access to appropriate grievance redressal mechanisms.”

Finally, Principle 5 states that “businesses should respect and promote human rights” and the most relevant core element to SDG 16.10, core element 2 expects businesses to have “in place such policies, structures and procedures that demonstrate respect for the human rights of all stakeholders impacted by its business. This includes carrying out human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address adverse human rights impacts”.

The national indicator formulated to track progress on SDG 16.10 is: Percentage of RTI queries responded. As is evident, this indicator deals only with public access to information under the Right to Information Act, 2005, which as of now does not encompass businesses in the private sector. The Act covers Public Sector Units.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) states that the largest 1,000 publicly listed firms report their Environmental, Social and Governance practices, as per the Business Responsibility Report guidelines. Under Section D of the BRR reporting format, businesses are asked to report whether they have a grievance redressal mechanism related to the policy/ policies to address stakeholders’ grievances related to the policy/policies. Furthermore, under clause 3 of Section D, businesses are required to[92]:

  1. indicate the frequency with which the Board of Directors, Committee of the Board or  CEO  to  assess  the  BR  performance  of  the  Company; and

Under the same clause, businesses are required to answer the following question:

(b) Does the Company publish a BR or a Sustainability Report? What is the hyperlink for viewing this report? How frequently it is published?

Under Section E of the BRR format which deals with NGRBC principle-wise performance, businesses are expected to report on the following:

Principle 1:

1. Does the policy relating to ethics, bribery and corruption cover only the company?  Yes/ No. Does it extend to the Group/Joint Ventures/ Suppliers/Contractors/NGOs /Others?

2. How many stakeholder complaints have been received in the past financial year and what percentage was satisfactorily resolved by the management? If so, provide details thereof, in about 50 words or so.

Principle 3:

5. Do you have an employee association that is recognized by management.

6. What percentage of your permanent employees is members of this recognized employee association?

Principle 5:

1. Does the policy of the company on human rights cover only the company or extend to the Group/Joint Ventures/Suppliers/Contractors/NGOs/Others?

2. How many stakeholder complaints have been received in the past financial year and what per cent was satisfactorily resolved by the management?

As a beginning, what is needed is the incorporation of the above data points in the indicator framework for SDG 16.10, it would then provide an assessment of the performance of businesses in meeting the goal and also the principles 1, 3 and 5 as enshrined in the NGRBC.


[1] Aajeevika Bureau, Kaun Sunega Kisko Sunaye: A Study on Migrant Labor Disputes, India: Aajeevika Bureau, 2008 www.aajeevika.org/assets/pdfs/Kaun%20sunega%20kisko%20sunaye_final.pdf

[2] Ibid

[3] Priyanka Jain and Amrita Sharma, “Super-Exploitation of Adivasi Migrant Workers: The Political Economy of Migration from Southern Rajasthan to Gujarat”, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 31, No. 1 (2018) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0260107918776569

[4] Rajiv Khadelwal, “Across India, Workers Complain that Employers Used Lockdown to Defraud Them of Wages They are Owed” Scroll, April 17. 2020. https://scroll.in/article/959428/across-india-workers-complain-that-employers-used-lockdown-to-defraud-them-of-wages-they-are-owed

[5] Walk Free Foundation, Global Slavery Index 2018 Walk Free Foundation, 2018 https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/2018/findings/highlights/

[6] Ibid

[7] National Human Rights Commission, “National Seminar on Bonded Labour”, 2017 https://nhrc.nic.in/press-release/national-seminar-bonded-labour

[8] PTI, 14,614 Bonded Labour Cases from 1993 to January 31 This Year: NHRC, Economic Times, February 14, 2017
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/14614-bonded-labour-cases-from-1993-to-january-31-this-year-nhrc/articleshow/57153757.cms?from=mdr

[9] Martje Theuws & Pauline Overeem, “Flawed Fabrics: The Abuse of Girls and Women Workers in the South Indian Textile Industry”, Amsterdam: Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and Indian Committee of the Netherlands, 2014. Accessed on 11 June 2020  https://www.somo.nl/flawed-fabrics/

[10] Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri et al, Beyond Deaths and Injuries: The ILO’s Role in Promoting Safe and Healthy Jobs, Geneva: International Labour Organisation, 2008 https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_094524.pdf

[11] Mines Act 1952 < http://www.dgms.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/Mines%20Act,%201952.pdf>  (6 July 2020)

[12] Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act 1986 < https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1867?view_type=browse&sam_handle=123456789/1362> (6 July 2020)

[13] Plantation Labour Act 1951 < http://www.teaboard.gov.in/pdf/policy/Plantations%20Labour%20Act_amended.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[14] Explosives Act  1884 <https://dipp.gov.in/sites/default/files/Explosive_Act_1884_0.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[15] Petroleum Act 1934 < http://fcp.bih.nic.in/Acts/The-Pertoleum-Act-1934.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[16] Insecticide Act 1968 < http://ppqs.gov.in/sites/default/files/insecticides_act.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[17] Indian Boilers Act 1923 < http://labour.bih.nic.in/Acts/The-Indian-Boilers-Act-1923.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[18] Dangerous Machines (Regulations) Act 1923 < http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1983-35.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[19] Indian Atomic Energy Act 1962 < https://www.aerb.gov.in/images/PDF/Atomic-Energy-Act-1962.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[20] Radiological Protection Rules 1971 < http://www.hp.gov.in/dhsrhp/Radiation_Protection_Rules_1971.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[21] Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules 1989 < http://niohenvis.nic.in/statistics/LEG_OSH/Manufacture,%20Storage%20and%20Import%20of%20Hazardous%20Chemicals%20Rules.pdf> (6 July 2020)

[22] Electricity Act 2002 < https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/2058?view_type=browse&sam_handle=123456789/1362> (6 July 2020)

[23] Safe in India, Crushed 2019: The Unfortunate Saga of Thousands of Hands and Fingers Lost in the Automotive Industry in Gurgaon, India, India: Safe in India, 2019.

[24] Dagmar Walter, India Must Seize the Opportunity to Create Safe and Healthy Workplace International Labour Organisation, May 20, 2019 https://www.ilo.org/newdelhi/info/public/fs/WCMS_703534/lang–en/index.htm

[25]Subroto Nandi, et al., Assessment of Silicosis Awareness among Stone Mine Workers of Rajasthan State. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 22, No. 2 (2018) http://www.ijoem.com/article.asp?issn=0973-2284;year=2018;volume=22;issue=2;spage=97;epage=100;aulast=Nandi

[26] Prachi Verma and Sreeradha D Basu, “At Only 3%, Corporate India is Still Struggling to Bring Women to the Top” Economic Times, March 27, 2019 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/at-only-3-corporate-india-is-still-struggling-to-bring-women-to-the-top/articleshow/68589499.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

[27] Ibid

[28] Ibid

[29] Soumitra Ghosh, “The Price of a Good Cuppa” The Hindu, July 18, 2019 https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-price-of-a-good-cuppa/article28524683.ece

[30] Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition (GNRFN), A Life Without Dignity –

The Price of Your Cup of Tea: Abuses and Violations of Human Rights in Tea Plantations in India, Heidelberg: GNRTFN, 2016, https://www.righttofoodandnutrition.org/files/IndiaFFMReport_June_2016.pdf

[31] Oxfam International, Addressing the Human Cost of Assam Tea: An Agenda for Change to Respect, Protect and

Fulfil Human Rights on Assam Tea Plantations, Oxford: Oxfam, 2019 https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/620876/bp-human-cost-assam-tea-101019-en.pdf

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Sarah Khan, “The Casteist Underbelly of the Indian Private Sector”, The Wire, March 15, 2019 https://thewire.in/caste/the-casteist-underbelly-of-the-indian-private-sector

[35] Amit Basole et al, State of Working India 2018, Bengaluru: Centre for Sustainable Employment, APU, 2018, 22 https://cse.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/State_of_Working_India_2018-1.pdf

[36] Global Witness, Defenders of the Earth: Global Killings of Land and Environmental Defenders in 2016, Global Witness, 2017, https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/environmental-activists/defenders-earth/

[37] International Labour Organisation, “India Wage Report: Wage Policies for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth”, 69, Geneva: ILO, 2018, Accessed June 21, 2020, https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—sro-new_delhi/documents/publication/wcms_638305.pdf, 91-92

[38] Task Force on Justice 2020, Justice for All: Task Force on Justice“, New York: Center on International Cooperation, 2019 https://www.justice.sdg16.plus/report.

[39] Misra, Udit and Iqbal Nushaiba, “Explained: What labour law changes by states mean”, Indian Express, 16 May, 2020 https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-labour-law-changes-mean-coronavirus-6403611/

[40] Alessandra Mezzadri and Ravi Srivastava, Indian Garment Sector: Capital-Labour Relations, Social Reproduction and Labour Standards in the National Capital Region, London: CDPR, 2015. https://www.soas.ac.uk/cdpr/publications/reports/file106927.pdf

[41] Ibid

[42] Sumedha Pal, “Elections 2019: ‘Acche Din’ Only Led to Mass Violation of Labour Rights, Say Workers” , News Click, April 02, 2019 https://www.newsclick.in/violation-labour-rights-under-Modi-government

[43] Express News Service, “79 Delhi Employers In Dock For Violating Labour Laws”, New Indian Express, December 15, 2018 https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2018/dec/15/employers-in-dock-for-pay-violations-1911769.html

[44] International Justice Mission, Bonded Labour in Three Districts in Karnataka State, India: Prevalence and Migrant Labourers’ Experiences”. India: International Justice Mission, 2018 https://www.ijmindia.org/files/Bonded-Labour-in-Three-Districts-Karnataka.pdf

[45] International Labour Organisation, “Insight’s into Working Conditions in India’s Garment Industry (Fundamentals)”. Geneva: ILO, 2015, 17-18 https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@declaration/documents/publication/wcms_379775.pdf

[46] Amritha Pillay, “Labour Day: 121 Deaths in FY18 at India’s Top Companies”, Business Standard, May 01, 2019 https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/labour-day-121-workplace-deaths-in-fy18-at-india-s-top-companies-119050100019_1.html

[47] Safe in India, Crushed 2019: The Unfortunate Saga of Thousands of Hands and Fingers Lost in the Automotive Industry in Gurgaon, India,  India: Safe in India, 2019.

[48] Ibid

[49] Brinda Sarkar. “Companies Need To Collaborate To Move Needle On Gender Diversity: Zinnov-Intel India Study” Economic Times. December 12, 2019.  https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/companies-need-to-collaborate-to-move-needle-on-gender-diversity-zinnov-intel-india-study/articleshow/72485141.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

[50] Sonal Khetarpal, “Gender diversity at PSUs still a distant dream; lags promoter firms and MNCs”. Business Today May 28, 2019 https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/gender-diversity-at-psus-still-a-distant-dream-lags-promoter-firms-and-mncs/story/405154.html

[51] Ibid

[52] D Ajit, Han Donker, and Ravi Saxena, “Corporate Boards in India: Blocked by Caste?” Economic and Political Weekly 47, no. 32 (2012): 39-43. www.jstor.org/stable/23251799.

[53] Ashish Gupta, “Caste: Why it’s Still an Issue for India Inc.” Fortune India, October 14, 2016 https://www.fortuneindia.com/workplace/caste-why-its-still-an-issue-for-india-inc-/100264

[54] Sarah Khan, “The Casteist Underbelly of the Indian Private Sector”, The Wire, March 15, 2019 https://thewire.in/caste/the-casteist-underbelly-of-the-indian-private-sector

[55] International Trade Union Confederation ITUC Global Rights Index: The World’s Worst Country for Workers, ITUC,2020. https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/2019-06-ituc-global-rights-index-2019-report-en-2.pdf

[56] Neelambaran A, “Striking Workers and Leaders of Chowel India Limited Arrested at Midnight for Protest” News Click¸ May 20, 2019. https://www.newsclick.in/striking-workers-and-leaders-chowel-india-limited-arrested-midnight-protest

[57] International Labour Organisation, India Wage Report: Wage Policies for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth, Geneva: ILO, 2018, 69 https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—sro-new_delhi/documents/publication/wcms_638305.pdf

[58] Ibid, 70

[59] Sushi Kumar and Anab Kidwai “CSR Disclosures and Transparency among Top Indian Companies” International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 16, No. 1 (2018)

[60] Alessandra Mezzadri and Ravi Srivastava, Indian Garment Sector: Capital-Labour Relations, Social Reproduction and Labour Standards in the National Capital Region, London: CDPR, 2015. https://www.soas.ac.uk/cdpr/publications/reports/file106927.pdf

[61] Vaibhav Raaj, Shashi Kant Prasad, and Anton Pieper. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Workers’ Rights Violations in the Indian Leather and Footwear Industry, New Delhi: The Society for Labour and Development, 2020 http://cividep.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Walk-a-Mile-in-Their-Shoes_India-english3.pdf

[62] Martje Theuws & Pauline Overeem, Flawed Fabrics: The Abuse of Girls and Women Workers in the South Indian Textile Industry, Amsterdam: Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and Indian Committee of the Netherlands, 2014  https://www.somo.nl/flawed-fabrics/

[63] TNN, “Where the Law Stands on Whistleblowers in India” Economic Times https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/where-the-law-stands-on-whistleblowers-in-india/infosys-episode/slideshow/71770940.cms

[64] Ibid

[65] Rajya Sabha, Question: Attack on Whistleblowers and RTI Activists, July 19, 2018. Accessed on May 28, 2020. https://pqars.nic.in/annex/246/Au317.pdf

[66] Ibid.

[67] Securities and Exchange Board of India. “Annexure I: Suggested Format for Business Responsibility Report”, SEBI, 2015. Accessed on 3 June 2020 https://taxguru.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1446638214636.3-13.pdf

[68] Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct. New Delhi: Ministry of Corporate Affairs, 2018, 11 https://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/NationalGuildeline_15032019.pdf

[69] National Crime Records Bureau.Crime in India. New Delhi: NCRB, 2018. https://ncrb.gov.in/hi/node/2167

[70] Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Standard Reference Note, Mumbai: DGFASLI, 2017 https://dgfasli.gov.in/sites/default/files/2018-11/std_ref2017.pdf

[71] Directorate General of Mine Safety, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Annual Report, India: Directorate General of Mine Safety, 2014 http://www.dgms.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/DGMS_Annual_Report_2014_Eng-14.pdf

[72] Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Standard Reference Note, Mumbai: DGFASLI, 2017 https://dgfasli.gov.in/sites/default/files/2018-11/std_ref2017.pdf

[73] Factories Act 1948 <https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/TheFactoriesAct1948.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[74] The Mines Act 1952 <http://www.dgms.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/Mines%20Act,%201952.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[75] The Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act 1986 <https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1867/1/A1986-54.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[76] The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996 <https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/10498/1/the_building_and_other_construction_workers_%28regulation_of_employment_and_conditions_of_service%29_act%2C_1996.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[77] The Plantations Labour Act 1951 <https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/The-Plantation-Labour-Act-1951.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[78] The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 <https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1467?view_type=browse&sam_handle=123456789/1362> (11 June 2020)

[79] The Inter-State Migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1979 <https://clc.gov.in/clc/acts-rules/inter-state-migrant-workmen> (11 June 2020)

[80] The Working Journalist and other News Paper Employees (Conditions of Service and Misc. Provision) Act 1955 <https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/WorkingJournalistsAct1955_0_0.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[81] The Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act 1958 <https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/TheWorkingJournalistFixationofRatesofWagesAct1958_0.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[82] The Motor Transport Workers Act 1961 <https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1662?view_type=browse&sam_handle=123456789/1362> (11 June 2020)

[83] Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act 1976 <http://labour.bih.nic.in/Acts/The-Sales-Promotion-Employees-Act-1976.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[84] The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act 1966 <http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1966-32.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[85] The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act 1981  <https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/THECINEWORKERSACT1981.pdf> (11 June 2020)

[86] Securities and Exchange Board of India. “Circular: Format for Business Responsibility Report”, SEBI, Nov 2015. Accessed on 3 June 2020 https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/nov-2015/format-for-business-responsibility-report-brr-_30954.html

[87] Ibid

[88] Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, “Sustainable Development Goals National Indicator Framework Baseline Report 2015-16” New Delhi: MoSPI, 2019 http://www.mospi.gov.in/sites/default/files/Report2.pdf

[89] Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct. New Delhi: Ministry of Corporate Affairs, 2018 https://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/NationalGuildeline_15032019.pdf

[90] National Crime Records Bureau.Crime in India. New Delhi: NCRB, 2018, 62-63 https://ncrb.gov.in/hi/node/2167

[91] Sarah Khan, “The Casteist Underbelly of the Indian Private Sector”, The Wire, March 15, 2019 https://thewire.in/caste/the-casteist-underbelly-of-the-indian-private-sector

[92] Securities and Exchange Board of India. “Circular: Format for Business Responsibility Report”, SEBI, Nov 2015. Accessed on 3 June 2020 https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/nov-2015/format-for-business-responsibility-report-brr-_30954.html


 [TR1]This isnt relevant since P1 focusses on corporate governance, which is not covered in our SDG16 policy brief.

 [vv2]We have used P1 in SDG 16.10

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