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Group set up to tackle Indian quarrying abuses

November 2006

A project has been started in the Netherlands to eliminate inhuman and environmentally undesirable policies among Indian companies supplying natural stone to Dutch businesses.  
    
The initiative coincides with a report, From Quarry to Graveyard – Corporate Social Responsibility in the Natural Stone Sector, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands. The report condemns heavy and unsafe work, sub-standard wages, child labour, bonded labour, discrimination against outcastes, disturbance of water systems, loss of farmland and forests, irresponsible waste disposal and excessive dust particle emissions. Some of the quarrying is illegal and the business is often corrupt, says the report.
    
The organization has now formed the Working Group on Sustainable Natural Stone with the Dutch Association for Nature and the Environment to make stone traders and retailers aware of their responsibilities for their supply chains.
    
Already some companies and trade organizations have joined the working group to draw up a code of conduct, and the group is trying to involve the industry’s stakeholders in the project.
    
The Dutch government has said sustainability will be a decisive factor in all public purchasing from 2010, but for the natural stone industry there are no definite criteria yet.



Further Information
p.overeem@indianet.nl
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