Breaking the system keeping tea workers poor

Tea pickers in Wayanad, India. Steenbergs under a Creative Commons Licence - See more at: http://newint.org/blog/2016/02/08/keeping-tea-plantation-workers-poor/#sthash.bNiHbcWa.dpuf
Tea pickers in Wayanad, India. Steenbergs under a Creative Commons Licence

Last September, the BBC revealed appalling conditions on Assamese tea plantations (which supply, among others, London’s Fortnum and Mason) – overflowing cesspits, leaking roofs, child labour, pesticide poisoning and severely malnourished children.

But this was not exactly news.

There have been numerous similar reports over the past decades. In 2014, the Guardian reported on ‘Assam’s modern slaves’, claiming poverty wages were the cause of plantation workers’ children being trafficked into sexual or domestic slavery.

What is keeping the colonial system in tact… and can a small group of women break it?

Read more in my guest blog for the New Internationalist

 

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