New documentary from BBC’s Africa Eye and Panorama program highlights cases of sexual abuse and misconduct on tea estates in Kericho County.
The Rainforest Alliance is deeply concerned by a recent BBC documentary, which highlights documented cases of sexual abuse in the Kenya tea sector and indicates widespread gender-based violence on certified plantations in Kericho County. Our first concern is for the protection and wellbeing of the victims, and we believe the incidents highlighted in the documentary are not isolated cases, but rather evidence of a wider, systemic problem. We call for and commit to sector-wide engagement to tackle the rampant sexual abuse in the global tea sector.
We stand with the thousands of women working in the Kenya tea sector and commit to doing our part to help stop violence against women in agricultural supply chains.
We take this matter very seriously; there is no place in either sustainable agriculture or responsible business for human rights abuses. The safety and wellbeing of women and all workers is of the utmost importance, and thus is an integral part of our certification program, and our mission. The Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard includes strict requirements on human rights and labor rights, including safe working conditions, which are based on the core ILO Conventions, as well as the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW.) Compliance with national law is also mandatory.
We have been in contact with local stakeholders as well as other actors along the supply chain to agree on actions to address this egregious challenge in a systematic way. The Rainforest Alliance will report back on actions to be taken following our investigation.