This is the 21st-century, and due to the rise in technology and modernization, one may think that child labor and exploitation is a thing of the past, but no, it still exists; research and studies have proven that. There are so many children out there who are being exploited on a daily bases and have been turned to domestic servants. Also, child trafficking is a form of child labor as children are being sent into slavery to work as domestic maids, prostitution, and drug dealing.
Our focus, however, is on child labor in the tea industry. The tea industry is a fast-rising industry, as so many brands of teas are being produced regularly.
But how are these teas made? How are they produced? What are their sources?
These are the questions you should ask as a consumer before the purchase of any tea.
In which countries child labor is common?
Child labor in the tea industry is rampant in some African countries. According to the US Department of Labor, the countries where child labor is common are Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam, India, Rwanda, Burma, and Uganda.
Tea is mostly produced in India, and quite often, this production of tea causes a lot of human suffering in the aspect of child labor. The tea workers in India face problems of child labor and exploitation, and this is because they have a long history of colonialism. The rate of school dropouts among the children of tea pickers is extremely high in India as their parents earn very little to sustain the family. There is too much work for these tea pickers, and sometimes they are forced to bring their children to work to meet up with their demands. Despite the free mid-day meals provided at school, drop out rate is still high, especially at the ages of 11-17, which is the age in which children are regarded as employable for domestic work. In India, tea pickers get a daily wage of Rs 167, and some others, Rs 145 equivalent to 1.8 – 2 euros per day.
In Western Uganda, studies and research have shown that about 40,000 children worked as tea pickers due to their state of poverty, and they earn just 30 US cents, which is barely enough to feed.
Also in Malawi, because of the low income, their parents get from tea picking, most children work on tea plantations.
In Sri Lanka, most of these children tea pickers are subject to sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Tea pickers have been underpaid for years with a minimum wage of 500 rupees.
Indeed, the case of child labor in the tea industry is a case that should be meticulously dealt with as it breaks all the rules of human rights.
Causes Of Child Labour In The Tea Industry
There are so many factors that could lead to child labor in the tea industry, and here are a few of them:
- The poor living conditions of tea pickers and their families – Majority of these tea pickers can barely cater for themselves and their families. As a result, they pick tea to fend for themselves, involving their children in the process.
- Low payment, wages, or income – The low wages being paid to tea pickers make them involve their children in the tea picking job.
- Insufficient food– In a bid to have more food to eat, children are involved in the tea picking process.
- The need to survive – The need to survive makes most children engage in tea picking.
International Measures to Fight Child Labor In The Tea Industry
Research has shown that some of these tea pickers are promised benefits by their employers in the form of incentives, education, medical help, and food. At the end of the day, these promises turn out to be empty promises as they are never fulfilled. Still, these tea pickers and their families have no choice; they work to at least get what to eat.
Due to the alarming increase of the case of child labor in the tea industry, measures have been taken by both individuals and organization to curb these excesses.
The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an arm of the United Nations has been working hand in hand with tea companies and industries to improve and better the lives of children affected by the tea sector. They provide basic needs for these children, along with education.
Also, the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act helps to fight child labor in the tea industry by ensuring that tea producers and manufacturers that generate over $100 million per annum from tea sales publicly prove that child labor and exploitation did not at any time occur during the production of their tea.
There are so many campaigns out there fighting child labor in the tea industry, and the best thing individuals can do is to support their activities. How?
Different Ways To Combat Child Labor In The Tea Industry
While organizations are doing their own part to fight child labor in the tea industry, individuals can also play their part in every little way as every little thing counts.
- They can use their purchasing power to change how tea pickers are treated. This they can do by asking tea companies for information on the labor used in the production of their products. In this way, they can avoid tea industries that do not provide reasonable or concrete information on the labor used in the production of their tea.
- They can also help by taking advantage of different conscious consumer options made available through some tea companies. One of such tea companies is Yatea, which supports fair trade tea and other campaigns fighting child labor in the tea industry. What is fair trade tea? Fairtrade teacomes from companies that have signed the Campaign for Fair Food. The Good Tea Guide has also been made available to help customers and individuals purchase only tea free from child labor exploitation.
All hands should be on deck to fight child labor in the tea industry, and the part of individuals is just the first step towards change.
Introducing to you a specialty herbal tea is Yatea. We provide a tea of organic origin produced without child labor and exploitation. We are a dedicated online tea store that takes pride in bringing you finest teas from mystical places all around the world.
As a support to fight against child labor in the tea industry, we partner with campaigns fighting the crime and also support fair trade tea. Our vision is to make a positive impact on the health of people with the help of our sustainably sourced herbs and plants produced into tea. Yatea heals the body and mind, and it is manufactured in a socially fairway.
For every tea you purchase from us, you contribute to our donations for organizations fighting against child labor in the tea industry such as The International Initiative to End Child Labor and Global March.
If you seek to get a high-quality tea made from quality ingredients, Yatea is your best bet. Ordering tea from us is seamless and less stressful. Also, there is 100% transparency where our tea came from. Indeed, it is tea that heals your body and mind.
Let’s join hands together to fight child labor in the tea industry. Your purchase of Yatea is your support and donation to this cause.