•The women workers allege that named senior officers in the companies demand sexual favours for work or to be moved to lighter duties. Some claim to have been infected with HIV or lost their marriages as a consequence.
A group of human rights lobbies now demand that the government compels the multinational tea companies whose senior employees were implicated in the sex-for-work documentary to compensate the affected workers.
The BBC Africa’s documentary that unearthed an alleged web of sexual exploitation of lowly paid casual workers in the Rift Valley-based tea multinationals has elicited a massive storm.
The companies implicated in the piece are British-owned James Finley and Unilever.
The women workers allege that named senior officers in the companies demand sexual favours for work or to be moved to lighter duties.
Some claim to have been infected with HIV or lost their marriages as a consequence.
The director of public prosecutions Noordin Haji has already ordered the Police IG Japheth Koome to investigate the allegations in the film and forward the files to his office for action.
A coalition of lobbies campaigning against sexual violence in the country on Friday demanded that the government should compel the entities to offer the survivors and those at risk of the ordeals “immediate independent medical, psychosocial and legal aid services”.
They also demand that “the institutions implicated immediately provide compensation for all women and girls who have been violated in the tea plantations.”
Even worse, the lobbies want the tea companies to be revoked altogether “and their businesses shut down for lack of compliance with local and international standards for safety and protection, especially for women in the workplace”.
The bodies also demand that the state compels the institutions to put in place a self-monitoring mechanism to identify perpetrators and victims of sexual offences and forward the culprits to the police authorities for recourse.
“The institutions implicated [to] immediately put in place internal mechanism to identify perpetrators and forward all names to Directorate of criminal investigations.”
“That the DCI [to] initiate thorough investigations to establish the extent of the sexual harassment in the institutions, businesses and individuals implicate in the BBC documentary and in the tea sector at large,” the lobbies demand.
The activists want punitive actions against the multinationals further demanding that the business associates trading with them should shun any engagements to exert maximum pressure so that they make their workplaces safe.
And as the investigative focus turns to the companies, the lobbies want the Witness protection agency to put the survivors who may want to give evidence into protection so that they are not targets of harassment and harm.
“The Witness Protection Agency puts in place measures to protect the whistleblowers in the documentary and others who may subsequently come forward to provide information about the sexual harassment exploitation and abuse in the tea factories and plantations.”