“My daughter is not here, my husband is not here. I have only my pain: I live with my pain only.” – Susena1
Susena’s daughter Laxmi was 12 years old when she disappeared, lured by a trafficker promising a better life. Devastated, Susena’s husband left their home in a desperate attempt to recover their missing daughter, joining many others in the search for missing loved ones.
Stories of a unique situation of poverty that leaves generations vulnerable to trafficking and modern slavery in Assam, India are being reported across estates owned by Amalgamated Plantations (APPL) — a company whose biggest shareholder is Tata Global Beverages (Tata), parent company of Tetley tea.2
Here’s the good news — Tata has responded to over 95,000 messages from YOU and your fellow Walk Free activists calling on them to play a leading role in ending modern slavery in the region. Tata wrote to us that they are now working on an action plan following the completion of an audit conducted by the Solidaridad Network of living and working conditions in the APPL tea estates.3
Tata’s audit is a step in the right direction, but it’s only the beginning of a long process to ensure the living and working conditions in Assam do not leave generations vulnerable to modern slavery — and this process needs to be transparent in order to have a chance of succeeding.
Men, women, and children from the Assam tea-growing region are being deceived with promises of a new life and great work opportunities and are ultimately being trafficked and exploited to cities across India — a form of modern slavery fuelled by labour practices and working conditions on the tea plantations that leave workers and their families vulnerable to trafficking.
We want to see Tata Global Beverages, as a major shareholder of APPL, take leadership in preventing people being trafficked out of the tea plantations. Tata has a significant role to play and must take their share of the responsibility in tackling this crime.
We call on Tata Global Beverages to be transparent and take the following actions:
- Release a full and unedited version of the Solidaridad audit report;
- Set a public deadline for the release of a detailed action plan outlining the actions that will be taken to improve the social, living and working conditions of tea plantation workers, reducing their vulnerability to situations of modern slavery.
Tata Global Beverages has the power to do the most good in this situation — with your continued vigilance, we can help ensure that they play the crucial role of leading the fight to end slavery in Assam.