The International Center for Research on Women’s statement
“Statement from the International Center for Research on Women”, 17 February 2021
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is concerned by recent reports of a July 2020 complaint filed by tea plantation workers in Kenya, seeking reparations from Unilever UK for violence that occurred on the Kericho Tea Estates. The attacks stemmed from political unrest that broke out across the country following the disputed 2007 election.
ICRW, as an international research center focusing on gender equity, condemns all acts of violence wherever they occur and takes a firm stance in support of survivors in the pursuit of healing and justice. We take these allegations seriously and have communicated our concern to Unilever UK.
The matter is currently under review at the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. We respect these agencies and fully expect them to conduct objective due diligence and find a solution that is fair and just.
The advisory practice of ICRW has worked with Unilever UK since 2018. Our engagement with the multinational, as with our corporate clients generally, is a collaboration to advance their efforts to address systemic inequities within the workplace and across global supply chains.
The events now brought to the UN for adjudication predate our collaboration with Unilever UK. We await the outcome of the U.N.’s due process.