The UnionAID Tamil Nadu project is, for the first time, giving some meaning to fundamental human rights for Dalit and tribal workers. The indicators of this are:
Gender equality and women’s empowerment
Improved women’s access to entitlements under government and union agreements,
strong participation and leadership by women within the union,
a reported reduction in domestic violence from 25-15%
increasing education of girls in Dalit and Tribal families.
Reduction in discrimination against tribal people
Union membership has reduced discrimination and engendered respect from dominant castes.
Reduction in forced or bonded labour
The project work has significantly reduced bonded and forced labour.
Reduction in child labour
Child labour is being reduced mainly because collective power has prevented dominant castes from forcing their children into their homes to provide unpaid domestic labour,
Right to organise and bargain collectively
This right is being exercised through union membership and the collective bargaining which is occurring.
The project is committed to equal pay and the negotiated pay agreements reflect this.
The right to life and security of person
Union membership has given them protection against both violence from “dominant castes” and harassment and violence from the police.
The right to work
Union cooperatives have been established to create and maintain viable employment in the production of products and services where union members have skills.
The right to education
Improvements in pay and work conditions have enabled a greater number of Dalit and Tribal families to send their children to school.