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Sumangali is a principle of child labor practiced in India .


Mainly textile companies conclude multi-year employment contracts with the parents for their young daughters, where a large part of the remuneration is only paid after complete fulfillment. This is how the girl should get the dowry that she has to bring into a marriage. According to the moral standards there, an unmarried woman is worthless. Sumangali is a euphemism and roughly means the Happy Bride . The Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is familiar with the Sumangali principle. However, since there is currently no legal obligation for companies to disclose their sources of supply, the Federal Government has no information on whether German or European companies have textiles produced under the Sumangali principle or whether they use textiles produced in this way as part of their supply chains. import them, process them or sell them.


Terre des hommes and other humanitarian organizations refer to this principle as exploitation and slavery . According to the organizations, the girls are kept in barracks-like accommodations that they are not allowed to leave. Contact with the family is rarely permitted and only permitted under supervision. This allows the companies to deal with the girls in a repressive manner and almost at will. As a result, injuries, mutilations and suicides are not uncommon . Headhunters receive a head bonus for every girl they acquire. By glossing over the true circumstances, they find their victims in mostly poor families. Volker Beck criticizes the fact that textiles that were manufactured under the Sumangali system can be imported into Germany and sold here, including by German companies.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. , answer to question 5
  2. , answer to question 9
  3. Terre des hommes: What is the Sumangali scheme? , accessed June 28, 2012
  4. Sewn by female slaves, sold off in Germany. In: November 6, 2012, accessed September 1, 2018 .