this could not happen due to the company’s reluctance to share all the field visits data with the CCP members in time and finalise mutually agreed findings on its activities.
The variation between CCP monitoring data and my sample survey data with regard to the proportion of children to the total workforce and per acre child ratio are not very significant. The minor variations can be attributed to the timing of field visits and inherent limitations in sample survey. Since CCP field visits data covered 100% of the farms in AP for both Monsanto and Bayer and CCP has done multiple rounds of data recording through joint inspections during the season, for the purpose of understanding the magnitude of child labour one can best rely on CCP data.
The CCP field inspections data for 2006-07 indicate that compared to previous years there has been a reduction in the total number of children found working both on Bayer and Monsanto farms. During 2005-06 the CCP found 251 children in 185 acres (67% of the farms) of Bayer farms in AP. Child labour per acre was 1.35 and the proportion of children to the total workforce was around 20%. For 2006-07 the net number of children found was 68 in 61 acres and child labour per acre was 1.1 and proportion of children to total workforce was 11.2%. Though this reduction is encouraging the numbers still indicate that the problem is significant and companies need to further intensify their efforts to achieve their goal of zero child labour.
Bayer’s interpretation of CCP field visits data As already explained, even after repeated requests Bayer did not come forward to share all the field visits data and discuss the findings with CCP state level steering committee to finalise a mutually agreed report. On the contrary Bayer decided to interpret the CCP field visits data on their own and draw their own conclusions.
In January 2007 Bayer prepared a progress report on their initiatives to eliminate child labour on cottonseed farms in which they presented their own analysis of the CCP field visits data. Without bothering to share this report with the CCP state level steering committee, the company chose to circulate this report to rating agencies and company investors.
In their report Bayer decided to present only selected visits (monitoring visits and not follow up visits) data of the CCP thus showing a substantial reduction in the number of child labourers. According to these partial data the cumulative total number of child labourers found during all CCP monitoring visits in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during 2006-07 was 53 (34 for AP and 19 for Karnataka). Based on this the proportion of children per acre was estimated as 0.08 cases per acre and the proportion of children to the total work force as 1.5%. According to this report, compared to 2005-06, child labour cases per acre monitored were reduced by seven times and child labour proportion to total workforce by 10 times in 2006-07.