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INDIA: Human rights violations of steel plant workers

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posco_india.gifThe Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU), who representated 18 civil societies in the Republic of Korea, recently conducted a research on the human rights in Orissa, India.

 Conducted from 26 April to 6 May, the research was related to the establishment of a steel plant by ForceIndia.

Beginning from 27 April, KHIS and KCTU held discussions with various Indian organisations in Delhi who opposed the establishment, and managed to collate varying thoughts related to forced migration, demonstration and violent suppression of demonstration against POSCO, through a number of interviews.

This included talks with residents who are either for or against the establishment, and also through meetings with the head of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in the State of Orissa, activist groups, as well as Mr. Ki-Woong Sung, the Director of POSCO India.

Through this research, KHIS and KCTU reaffirmed that many people in India are exposed to negative impacts of rapid globalisation and liberalisation of India's market, such as disproportionate income distribution, increasing poverty, land unilaterally seized by the government, and environmental disruption.

Although there was a high possibility that the assault on the opposition group, which took place on 29 November last year, was caused by those who are in favor of the steel plant establishment (including the 8 local staffs at POSCO office in Kujang), no evidence has been found to support this.

Meanwhile, POSCO has accused those who are against them, for alleged attacks on the residents who have been supporting the firm.
During interview with investigators on 1 May, POSCO India said that there will be no forced movement to opposition village.

For villages which agree on moving, POSCO India will provide a dwelling place according to residents' will.
Also, with regards to concerns on lack of water for farming since the steel plant will utilise a large amount of water, POSCO India replied that they will construct a pipe line to bring water from the North.

Read the full report HERE.