In the note by IB, the central government and agencies concerned have been cautioned that the report has enough potential to harm India’s image and exports.
The Intelligence Bureau has cautioned Prime Minister’s Office about the global documentation on slavery which shows India being targeted as home to the highest number of slaves in the world. Apart from PMO, the Bureau sent a note to National Security Advisor, the MEA, the Ministry of Labour and R&AW last week, recommending a strong campaign to discredit the information and a diplomatic offensive against it, reported the Indian Express.
International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation (WFF), and a United Nations agency released their latest report “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage”, on September 19. According to the Indian Express, in the note by IB, the central government and agencies concerned have been cautioned that the report has enough potential to harm India’s image and exports. It has warned that the report will also affect the country’s efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7. As per the report, the note by IB also claimed that the European corporations use the ILO-WFF survey to fund NGOs to focus on alleged ‘slavery’ in South India’s textile industry, which is 40% of India’s textile exports.
The IB note was prepared within a week of the ILO-WFF released its report. In the note, the Bureau also recommended three-pronged strategy:
• With a credible slavery estimation through a much larger sample survey, the government and the agencies could counter motivated advocacy
• Through a rejoinder from Indian Statistical Institute, discredit WFF’s questionable estimate
• Intervene diplomatically to force ILO to dissociate from WFF, which is a private foundation