Photo: Bandabarn CC

New investigations by the BBC show that managers at two of the biggest tea farms in Kenya, James Finlay Kenya and Ekaterra, continue to demand sex from women in exchange for work.

SOMO researcher Sanne van der Wal: “I am shocked to see that sexual harassment is still so problematic on these plantations. Already in 2007 we found that women were coerced into sex with managers if they wanted a job, promotion or better working conditions on these plantations.”

New SOMO research in 2011, and a documentary for ARTE in 2013, showed that rampant sexual harassment continued at Ekaterra, owned by Unilever until 2021.

“This case makes crystal clear why we need legislation in the Netherlands and EU-wide that compels companies to address and remedy human rights violations in their operations and at their suppliers. I am pretty sure companies would root out this problem if they would face legal steps, not just bad publicity. We’re calling on the Dutch parliament to support the Dutch corporate accountability bill so we can all enjoy a cup of tea without miserable conditions for tea workers”, says Van der Wal.