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SZ author receives Axel Springer Prize

The SZ author Björn Stephan receives the Axel Springer Prize
For his report on child labor in the Indian gravestone industry

2015-12-04 Granitsteinbruch

In the report, Björn Stephan and Benjamin Pütter have shown that Indian children have to work for the production of tombstones. These are gravestones that have been found in German cemeteries. This fact of the child labor for Indian gravestones, which can be sold also here in Germany, is continually denied by the local industry.

The regional government of NRW has recently published a scientific study on the topic, which states that “in addition to the legal formulations in the BestG NRW, it must be noted that in India in the production of natural stoneone must assume the existence of the worst forms of child labor …”

Congratulations to Björn Stephan for the prize!

Siehe: Axel Springer Prize

Siehe SZ-Beitrag Die Kindergräber

2020-06-04T12:14:41+02:00May 4th, 2017|

Child labor in Indian gravestone quarries

New scientific study commissioned by the Ministry of Health NRW

2015-12-04 GranitsteinbruchThe study clearly shows that in India, the worst forms of child labor are also to be found in the natural stone sector. This also applies to the Vietnam and Philippines countries. For China, child labor is involved in various economic sectors. In addition, large quantities of natural stone are imported from India to China and then (if necessary further processed) exported to Germany. It is to be assumed that a part of the natural stones purchased from China originally came from India.

Please refer: Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MAGS):

2020-06-04T12:15:34+02:00April 25th, 2017|

Jugend Eine Welt warns against thoughtless grave stone purchase

2015-12-04 GranitsteinbruchOn the occasion of the November holidays, the Jugend Eine Welt draws attention to the fact that the working conditions in Indian tombstone quarries are still catastrophic: “UNICEF has repeatedly pointed out that child labor in Indian quarries occurs alarmingly Don Bosco is currently working in a remote quarry in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, where 64 children, including 37 boys and 19 girls, are from poor migrant families. ”

Siehe: Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Aktion Österreich

2020-06-04T12:24:05+02:00November 1st, 2016|

No gravestones from child labor in Bavaria

Bavarian municipalities use amendment

Grabsteine SMALLAn increasing number of municipalities in Bavaria are using the new authorization law in Bavaria and are forbidding grave stones from child labor in their cemeteries. Finally, the municipalities in Munich, Freising, Regensburg, Zwiesing or Gilching have changed their cemetery records or are preparing such changes in the municipal council.

It was not until December 2015 that the Süddeutsche Zeitung had shown in research on the ground in South India that there were child labor in grave quarries, which also supply Germany. At the time, the import sector had responded succinctly to the fact that it was a single black sheep – without even mentioning the well-known structural problem of child labor in India. The latest efforts by India to combat child labor are also being criticized throughout the world and considered as unsuitable.

Siehe: tz zu München
Siehe: Süddeutsche Zeitung zu Freising
Siehe: Mittelbayerische Zeitung zu Regensburg
Siehe: Süddeutsche Zeitung zu Gilching
Siehe: Augsburger Zeitung zu Wertingen

2020-06-04T12:25:03+02:00October 31st, 2016|

Bavaria: New law on gravestones

Grabsteine (2)
“In the future, Bavarian cities and municipalities will be able to pronounce a ban on the use of grave stones from exploitative child labor for their cemeteries. The state parliament unanimously passed a bill of the state government.” [weiter…]

Please refer: Fight against child labor
Please refer: Law draft
You can find an example of a sample application here.

2020-06-04T13:54:17+02:00July 22nd, 2016|

Press release on the day against child labor

Exclude exploitative working conditions for gravestones

2015-12-04 GranitsteinbruchHannover / Frankfurt am Main – On the occasion of the Day Against Child Labor on June 12, 2016, XertifiX and the industrial union Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) draw attention to the ongoing grievances in the Indian gravestone industry. An investigative search of the Süddeutsche Zeitung in December 2015 has shown that still Children in Indian (grave) quarries (SZ Magazin 09/2016). They are not only used there without any protective equipment in health-endangering jobs, but also do not visit a school. “Children need education, so they only have a chance to take their lives into their own hands and free themselves from the poverty trap, so we can not support structures where children are abused as low-cost volunteers,” says Deputy IG BAU Chairman of the Board of Dietmar Schäfers. Without good education, the next generation remains in poverty. “Anyone who makes a profit through imports of such natural stones is guilty of the fate and the endangering of these children,” said the chairman of XertifiX, Ingrid Sehrbrock. In this case, child labor does not mean a “necessary extra” for families in poverty – as it is sometimes heard – but the health impairment of children and the perpetuation of poverty in every generation![Full announcement in German]

Press release: Joint press release of the IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt and XertifiX (in German)

2020-06-04T13:56:29+02:00June 10th, 2016|

SZ reports on child labor in gravestone industry

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports in the magazine of March 4th, 2016 (09/2016) of research carried out on behalf of the Catholic aid organization “Die Sternsinger“:

The result of the investigative research, in which Benjamin Pütter was accompanied by a journalist from the SZ, Björn Stephan: Child workers were found in a south Indian quarry, in which natural stones for tombstones are mined! And: The supply chain is traceable from this quarry with child workers to a German gravestone company! This is a shame – especially given that the import industry is repeatedly and repeatedly denying even the remote possibility that children in quarries could work on raw material for tombstones.
2015-12-04 Granitsteinbruch

Pütter is the only one in the world who does investigative research in quarries in southern India and detects child laborers in quarries for German tombstones – and has been doing so for over 10 years.

Since his first research, Pütter has been heavily criticized for this work by industry and the specialist press, sued in court and accused of lying. The SZ report shows the earnings of putters and the dangers to which it repeatedly exposes itself in the search for truth. After all, he cannot be accused of any conflict of interest – this time, Putter’s trip was completely independent of XertifiX and was initiated and financed by the aid organization “Die Sternsinger”.

For Germany, the latest findings mean:
It is time for Germany to ban Indian tombstones from graveyards without a serious certificate nationwide. A certificate such as XertifiX not only controls quarries and natural stone processors for child labor, but also improves working conditions and reasonable wages for adult workers.

Please refer: Magazin (09/2016) der Süddeutschen Zeitung (Erscheinungstag: 04. März 2016)

2020-06-04T14:09:16+02:00March 3rd, 2016|

Illegal quarries steal billions

Südindien: 84 Steinbrüche des illegalen Abbaus überführt

A few years ago, illegal natural stone mining in South India was uncovered ( we reported ). The convened commission of inquiry (“The Sagayam Committee”) has now submitted a final report. Accordingly, the amount being misappropriated is estimated to be around Rs 65,154.60 crore. Converted into euros, these are almost inconceivable around 9 billion euros (1 crore rupee = 10,000,000 rupees) at the current exchange rate. The report includes 624 pages with 31 volumes Appendix.

Please refer: The New Indian Express

See also: Wikipedia

2020-06-04T14:03:57+02:00December 14th, 2015|

Bavaria: New bill on gravestones


On December 1, 2015, the Bavarian Cabinet approved a bill prohibiting gravestones from exploitative child labor. Cemetery operators in Bavaria are therefore allowed a ban on grave stones from exploitative child labor. In doing so, the requirements of the Federal Administrative Court (judgment of 16 October 2013) are taken into account by laying down basic requirements for evidence.

Health Minister Melanie Huml said: “Citizens, stonemasons and cemetery operators can use this regulation to easily and objectively determine whether a certificate is sufficient and therefore recognized.”

Please refer: Bayerischer Rechts- und Verwaltungsreport

2020-06-04T14:04:26+02:00December 3rd, 2015|

“Dispute over the tomb: Is this tombstone fair trade?”

Grabsteine SMALLTagesspiegel: “Those who walk through an autumn cemetery these days run past a lot of unanswered questions. Because many tombstones do not come from local quarries, but from India or China. It is not always clear exactly from where exactly the stones came from these countries, not even under what conditions they were broken and worked out of the quarry. There are organizations that check the production conditions.” [weiter…]

2020-06-04T14:22:14+02:00November 2nd, 2015|

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