Too many workers in quarries and natural stone factories worldwide still have to make a living under catastrophic conditions. Their health is massively endangered by dangerous jobs and non-existent protective equipment. Even the most basic protective measures are missing. Many work seven days a week without a break and do not even receive the statutory minimum wage. Especially in natural stone production facilities in India, China and Vietnam, poor working conditions often lead to incurable, fatal lung disease (silicosis). Many do not even reach the age of 50. On the occasion of the World Day for Decent Work, XertifiX e.V. is calling for sustainable improvements in working conditions in Asian companies. [weiter… (German)]
Installation from Gerda Waha
Stones block the way. At first glance, randomly brought up cobblestones force us to pause. On closer inspection you can see the faces of exhausted children between the other gray, faceless stones, they tell the story of a lost childhood.
Child workers, have more in common with the gray street paving stones than the first glance might suggest. Just like this, you pave the way for other people. Too often they get under the wheels themselves.
Stones help, because stumbling over stones makes us pause, take a closer look – this is how the still numerous child laborers are relieved of their anonymity.
Stumble, pause, look, reflect and take it into your own life –
When? Vom 26. September bis 01. November 2015
Where? Im Naturparkzentrum Habichtswald
Auf dem Dörnberg, 34289 Zierenberg
For the exhibition “Helping Stones?” The Marburg artist Gerda Waha has resumed and expanded an old project “On the Disappearance of Childhood”. The stones not only serve as stumbling blocks, they also give every viewer the possibility of direct help. A large part of the proceeds from the sale of the individual stones after the exhibition is donated to XertifiX Sozialprojekte e.V.
Kailash Satyarthi gets Peace Nobel Prize
We congratulate Kailash Sarthiaty for his commitment against child labor. We also congratulate the Nobel Prize Committee for highlighting the topic of child labor and combating it worldwide.
XertifiX co-founder Benjamin Pütter, together with Kailash Satyarthi, initiated and conducted the worldwide Global March against Child Labor. The main themes of Satyarthi have always been the abolition of child labor in the carpet and stone industry and in this context XertifiX e.V. has been established.
Municipalities authorized to ban gravestones from child labor
The state government has passed a new law which, among other things, authorizes municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia to ban gravestones from child labor. “By law, we enable cemetery wards to prohibit the construction of gravestones from exploitative child labor that will destroy the lives of girls and boys,” Minister Steffens said after the Cabinet meeting. Before the law was passed, numerous groups and associations were consulted last year.
After Saarland, Bremen and Baden-Württemberg, NRW is the fourth federal state to legally authorize municipalities to ban gravestones from child labor. In Bavaria, according to recent constitutional and administrative court judgments, such an authorization is no longer necessary.
Please refer: Press release of the state government NRW (German)
See also: Westfälische Nachrichten
Granit tycoon Palanichamy suspected of fraud
One of the big Indian granite producers and exporters, PRP Granites and PRP Exports, is involved in a gigantic fraud scandal surrounding illegal granite mining. In the course of detecting and investigating the fraud, the owner of PRP Granite, Mr. P. Palanichamy, was remanded, his home was searched, and granite mining licenses were suspended. Meanwhile, the wife of Mr. Palanichamy, two sons, a daughter and a daughter-in-law are under suspicion of fraud.
Mr. P. Palanichamy is one of thirteen lifetime members of the powerful Indian Monument Manufacturers Association (IMMA) Indian Tomb Association.
The Indo-German Export Promotion (IGEP) Earthlink is threatened with a lawsuit, as can be read on the website of the “Active against child labor” campaign. The background was a study on natural stone seals commissioned by the city of Hanover. As a result of the study, Earthlink presented the information they received from the respective seal initiatives. IGEP has not agreed to the presentation and is now apparently threatening to file a lawsuit.
Earthlink about it: “If the IGEP Foundation is actually dealing with a legal dispute with a small non-governmental organization like Earthlink eV, it has robbed it of its credibility solely by threatening to atart a legal dispute. The stubborn refusal, at least, to provide us with the relevant documents on the alleged standardization at least now sending it out to us or making it available on the Internet (in connection with an inflationary flood of threatening emails and registered mail in the past few days) raises the question for me whether the exaggerated outrage about our comparative presentation should only mask the fact that there are no serious basic labor law standards.”
XertifiX expands control criteria and strengthens sealing requirements
After long preparation and numerous consultations, the XertifiX criteria, which form the basis of our inspections, were extended at the board meeting on 27.04.2012. On our website you will find the list of XertifiX criteria .
The main focus of XertifiX remains the effective and successful fight against child labor through unannounced controls, education and support for schools.
However, we see the potential that the working conditions we control for the adult workers, as well as the environmental conditions, can be gradually improved in the companies we control. We start with the status quo of each quarry and each factory and develop from this starting point the respective intermediate targets to be fulfilled. The XertifiX criteria are hereby the target catalogue, which is worked on in each quarry and each factory.
Decisive is the willingness and implementation of a gradual improvement. Each year, in addition to the unannounced controls, the announced audit takes place, in which the inspector together with the person responsible for the production site jointly determines the progress to be achieved within one year. This target agreement is then binding and must be implemented within one year.
We are confident that in this way we will be taking another important step towards improving the production conditions of Indian natural stones.
Diese Woche erreicht uns von unserem Nordindien-Inspektor die Nachricht, dass in Madhya Pradesh zwei hochrangige Polizisten bei Kontrollen von illegalen Steinbrüchen ermordet wurden:
There have been some new developments in Madhya Pradesh – where there have been two high profile murders (within a span of just one week) of senior Police officers who were trying to control the illegal mining in that area. As such, there is high alert in the area and movement of people is restricted to prevent further such instances.
Wir werden daher auch die XertifiX-Inspektionen in der Region in Madhya Pradesh aussetzen, bis die Situation unter Kontrolle ist.
Hintergrund: In Indien wird ein beträchtlicher Anteil der Natursteine in Steinbrüchen abgebaut, für die keine Steuern an den Staat abgeführt werden, sog. illegale Steinbrüche ohne staatliche Lizenz.
“Der Friedhofsträger kann in seiner Friedhofsordnung festlegen, dass nur
Grabsteine und Grabeinfassungen verwendet werden dürfen, die nachweislich
aus fairem Handel stammen und ohne ausbeuterische Kinderarbeit im Sinne des
Übereinkommen Nr. 182 der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation vom 17. Juni
1999 über das Verbot und unverzügliche Maßnahmen zur Beseitigung der
schlimmsten Formen der Kinderarbeit (BGBl. 2001 II S. 1290) hergestellt sind.”
Der Änderungsantrag von SPD und Bündnis 90/Die Grünen wird am 10.11.2010 in erster und zweiter Lesung beschlossen.