End Human Trafficking in Assam

  • By: Walk Free
  • Target: Harish Bhat, CEO Tata Global Beverages
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

As the biggest single shareholder, if Tata Global Beverages (parent company of Tetley Tea) commits to help improve the working conditions of the employees of Amalgamated Plantations, they could play a leading role in ending slavery in Assam, India by taking these three essential steps:

1. Publish a public Tata Global Beverages Code of Conduct which ensures zero tolerance for modern slavery and includes measures for effective remediation when modern slavery is found.
2. 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.
3. 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.

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.

Tell Tata Global Beverages to help prevent the trafficking of young girls working on their tea plantations.

1. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/02/tea-workers-sold-into-slavery
Dear Harish Bhat, CEO Tata Global Beverages

I was shocked to learn of the "Tea Maid Trade" -- men and women operating as "recruiters" preying on young girls living on tea plantations in Assam, India.

[Your comments here]

Please take these essential steps to help prevent human trafficking on your tea plantations:

1. 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.

2. Ensure that plantation workers are paid a full cash living wage and to be able to opt out of investment schemes, across all plantations. Pay should be backdated accordingly.

3. 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.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]
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