Published on WalkFree.org, the petition is running now:
As the biggest single shareholder, if Tata Global Beverages commits to help improve the working conditions of the employees of Amalgamated Plantations, they could play a much needed leading role in ending slavery in Assam, India.
Tell Tata Global Beverages to help prevent the trafficking of young girls working on their tea plantations by taking these three essential steps:
- Publish the Tata Global Beverages Code of Conduct. Make public a code of conduct which ensures zero tolerance for modern slavery and includes measures for effective remediation when modern slavery is found.
- Ensure that plantation workers are paid a full cash living wage and are able to opt out of investment schemes, across all plantations. Pay should be backdated accordingly.
- Establish an independent grievance mechanism to enable workers to report violation of their rights, both individually and collectively, as verification that the code is being implemented.
By now, you’ve probably seen the exposé in The Guardian on what is being called the “Tea Maid Trade.” Men and women operating as “recruiters” prey on young girls living on tea plantations in Assam, India. Thousands of girls have reportedly ended up trapped as domestic slaves in middle class homes in Delhi.1
So how do these girls become trapped? The short answer is that workers in Assam are trapped in a unique situation of terrible poverty making them vulnerable to the lure of human traffickers.2
The long answer looks like this: … //
… Sign the petition (on the same page).
Unfortunately, the problem of human trafficking in Assam is not new. But right now we do have a window of opportunity to act and call for change. Due to growing global media coverage, Tata is feeling the heat. Tata has announced that it has commissioned an audit on the living and working conditions in the APPL tea plantations. This is a good first step, but we’re asking Tata to do more.
(Note: We want to be really clear — we are not accusing Tata Global Beverages of trafficking girls from Assam to be held in situations of modern slavery. We are, however, concerned that Tata Global Beverages is engaged in a labour scheme via Amalgamated Plantations in Assam that is fuelling unique forms of vulnerability to modern slavery. Of all the possible players, Tata Global Beverages has the power to do the most good in this situation and that is why we are calling on them to engage).
- The tea pickers sold into slavery;
- Assam’s modern slaves: the real price of a cup of Tetley tea – video, 11.39 min;
- The More Things Change…: The World Bank, Tata and Enduring Abuses on India’s Tea Plantations;
- India’s tea firms urged to act on slave trafficking after girls freed.
- Walk Free.org: PEOPLE LIVING IN SLAVERY … it is estimated that 29.8 million people are forced to live in slavery around the world today; LEARN MORE (also in espanol, Bahasa Indonesia, Portugues, Wikang Tagalog, Tiên Viêt);
Tea Maid Trade:
- on Wordless;
- on GoogleGroups;
- on inagist.com;
- on english.coffetea.ru;
- on FairPlayForChildren.org;
- Images for TeaMadeTrade on Google Image-search;
How Hong Kong’s Maid Trade is Making Life Worse for Domestic Workers Throughout Asia, on PunditFromAnotherPlanet;
Hopes, and Homes, Crumbling on Indian Tea Plantations, on NYTimes, by Max Bearak, Feb, 13, 2014;
Abused workers toil for Tetley tea, on Telegraph.co.uk, by Dean Nelson, New Delhi, Feb 12, 2914;
Tata urged to give tea plantation workers way out of share scheme, on Indian Economy, by Amy Kazmin in New Delhi, Feb 10, 2014;
TATA GLOBAL BEVERAGES on en.wikipedia (formerly Tata Tea Limited) is an Indian multinational non-alcoholic beverages company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal, India and a subsidiary of the Tata Group. It is the world’s second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea and a major producer of coffee …; incl. Critisism and External Links.