Farm workers and farm workers in India can be forced to perform dangerous work under a scheme that forces them to work in dangerous conditions and for long periods.
The scheme, known as ‘agrarian forced labor’, is being investigated by the International Labour Organisation and a group of countries, including India.
Under the scheme, which began in the mid-1990s, labourers are paid as little as Rs.1 per day.
Under its ‘Agricultural Forced Labor’ (AFL) scheme, a farm worker, in addition to being paid less than the minimum wage, will also be expected to work up to 15 hours per day in conditions of ‘forced labor’ which includes forced standing, sitting and kneeling.
They will also receive no break time, no medical or rest breaks, no overtime and no breaks for personal use.
The farm worker must also work for at least six months without receiving any compensation for their labour.
Farmers are being offered up to 10 years of paid leave after being ‘forced’ to work under the scheme.
According to India’s National Green Tribunal, in a 2014 case, a farmer in the village of Pangalipuram in the northern state of Tamil Nadu, was paid Rs.200,000 as a wage by the state government, but when he requested to leave he was allegedly forced to work for seven days.
The farmer, whose name has not been revealed, claimed he was forced to labour in the fields for up to three months without any pay or benefits.
The case is currently pending before the Indian High Court.
India has also issued a notice to the State Government of Karnataka for allegedly violating its obligation to ensure that the farm workers working under the AFL scheme were paid on time and at a reasonable wage.
India is one of only two countries in the world that does not require workers to be paid for their work on the farm.
The other is Malaysia, which is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and is an ‘agricultural’ state.
The ILO has identified that some of the workers under the ‘Agra’ scheme, in particular those working in the cotton fields in the state of Uttar Pradesh, are being paid between Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 per day for their ‘agradent work’ and the other workers are receiving less than Rs.25 per day, according to an interview conducted by the organisation with a worker from the cotton field in Pangallipur, Uttar Pradesh.
However, these payments are only for the ‘agra’ workers, who are also known as cotton farmers, who receive no wage or other compensation for the work they do.
The ‘agro workers’ are forced to walk for long distances in dangerous and dangerous conditions, often without any protection.
The workers who are receiving ‘agrant’ pay in the ‘AGR’ scheme are also paid less and are not given any other breaks or pay breaks.
In a survey conducted by UNDP-United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), nearly 60 percent of workers who were interviewed were forced to undertake agricultural labour under the agrarian labour scheme.
A report by the Human Rights Watch in 2013 stated that between 1996 and 2010, some 1,800 farmers in India died because of exposure to dangerous and abusive working conditions.
“The scale of forced labour in India is immense,” said UNFPA’s Asia Pacific director in a statement.
“A farmer who is paid less to do his work than a migrant worker in Bangladesh is paying a price in human and material misery for the government.”
The ILF reported in 2013 that there are now more than 400,000 farmers under the Agra scheme, of whom 1.5 million work under forced labour conditions.
The UNFpa survey of farmers found that the majority of those who died from exposure to unsafe working conditions were not from poor families but from poor farmers living in rural areas.
The majority of farmers in rural India are also poor, and a significant number are from migrant workers.
The report stated that the agri-food sector employs more than one million migrant workers, mainly from the sub-continent.
According the ILF, farmers working under forced-labor conditions in the Agramagora region of Tamilnadu state, are paid a salary of around Rs.4,000 and receive no benefits for their labor, except for health insurance, food and rent.
“It is a cruel system of exploitation and exploitation that is not recognised by any state or the international community,” said Maria Coronado, Executive Director of the ILO’s Office in India.
The Indian government has taken measures to protect the rights of farmers under AFL and other forms of forced labor, including introducing laws to prevent farmers from losing their livelihoods under the guise of ‘agri-industry’ schemes.
India’s agricultural minister, Jairam Ramesh, said that he would be looking into the issue of ‘Agri-Agriculture’ schemes to ensure they