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GOTS conference in New Delhi will focus on compliance with social criteria

The setting is India: As the world market leader in cotton production and processing, India is the ideal host country for the upcoming GOTS conference on 8 November 2017. At the same time, India boasts the largest number of GOTS-certified companies in the world. The main theme of the event in New Delhi will be 'Social Compliance Issues in the Organic Textiles Supply Chain'. This is a topic that has great relevance in the South Asian country: whilst it is true that working conditions in the Indian textiles industry are considered to be better than those in the immediate neighbouring countries, a lot more needs to be done to get a grip on problems such as child labour, discrimination, and paying a minimum living wage. However, it’s not only the social influences of ecological textile processing in India that are to be discussed in the course of the one-day conference, but also its impact all over the world.

Topics such as employment rights, collective negotiations, safety issues and work-related health risks have dominated the discussions around global textile added value for over a decade now. In recent years, new problems and concepts have arisen, such as modern slavery and living wages. Social criteria have been an integral part of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) since the GOTS Version 1.0 – verified through audits. In 2016, more than 1.4 million workers, employed in GOTS-certified factories worldwide, were able to benefit from the positive effects. These are the social themes that lectures and discussions at the upcoming conference will take up – from the history of compliance with social criteria to the challenges associated with it. The comprehensive events programme will also offer the opportunity for networking, whereby the conference will aim to develop successful partnerships, in order to alleviate critical social problems.

The congress is one of the official pre-conferences for the 19th Organic World Congress (OWC). OWC is a series of international events that are organised every three years, in different countries, by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The 19th OWC will take place from 9 to 11 November 2017 in Greater Noida, India. The GOTS conference should provide the opportunity for debate on priorities for action in relation to the OWC that follows it, where the findings will be presented.

International GOTS Conference India
Date: 8 November 2017
Conference venue: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi/India