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.
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.