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Rapport

18 Mai 2022

Auteur:
THIRST

Global: Human rights violations persist across the tea sector despite ‘plethora’ of human rights standards & policies, study finds

"Human Rights in the Tea Sector – The Big Picture", 18 May 2022

THIRST’s new report...finds that despite a plethora of human rights standards, policies and conventions, and a thriving industry, breaches of the human rights of workers and farmers persist across the tea sector.

The report is the first phase, focusing on Assessment, in a three-year tea sector-wide Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA).  It does not contain analysis or recommendations. These will come in the subsequent phases of the HRIA...The third phase will be Action planning – co-creating with industry stakeholders a ‘highway map’ for a fair and thriving tea industry,  and the final phase will be Accountability – monitoring and evaluating progress...

...on every human rights dimension we examined, there were sector-wide breaches. THIRST’s literature review...’found that:

  • Women across tea-growing regions experience economic and employment discrimination, sexual abuse and coercion and violation of maternity rights. Trade unions tend to be male-dominated so women’s voices often go unheard.
  • The sector is characterised in multiple origins by very low incomes – often below international poverty lines – even when they meet legal minimum wage levels and are agreed through collective bargaining.
  • Occupational health hazards such as musculoskeletal injuries from carrying heavy loads, spraying pesticides without the protective equipment, and exposure to tea dust in factories are common across the sector.
  • Housing in many parts of the sector is dilapidated with toilets in poor condition or non-existent; many workers do not have access to safe drinking water, leading to risk of cholera and typhoid, while medical care is often rudimentary.
  • Forced labour and child labour has been identified in the tea industries of multiple countries.
  • Older people in tea growing regions are highly vulnerable to rights abuses, losing their homes and access to medical care on retirement.