SG | Modern Slavery: Bittersweet Slavery?

What do we know about the human impact of the production processes keeping us online and clothed?

Organisator Studium Generale

di 6 maart 2018 20:00 tot 00:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

Tea and cocoa. Where do practices within the supply chains of both industries figure on the scale ranging from slavery to extreme exploitation? How do such qualifications influence attempts to improve social justice?

Karin Astrid Siegmann unravels hierarchies of post-coloniality, class, gender and power while discussing poverty and risk in the highly regulated tea industry. Tea is the second most popular beverage after water. What price do labourers pay for the world’s second most popular beverage known as the ‘cheap drink’? Based on a recent study of tea plantation workers’ conditions in Sri Lanka and India, dr. Siegmann will explore links between the price of tea and its conditions of cultivation and production. Does the governance of tea plantation labour constitute a form of ‘modern slavery’ and what can be done to improve tea plantation workers’ conditions?  

Antonie Fountain melts myths about slave-free chocolate. Despite programmes in the cocoa sector to tackle injustices, why has there been little progress on the ground? He examines various actors’ roles while revealing dilemmas surrounding transparency & accountability, market volatility and historical practices of child labour amid the root causes of dubious labour practices.

About Karin Astrid Siegmann

Holding a PhD in Agricultural Economics, Karin Astrid Siegmann works as a Senior Lecturer in Labour and Gender Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, the Netherlands. She is keen to understand how workers challenge and change the social, economic and political structures that marginalize labour. Her focus is on the intersection of global economic processes with local labour markets, stratified by varying degrees of formality of work, as well as gender and other social identities. She has investigated these dynamics in the context of global production networks, global care chains and international migration more generally. The geographical focus of her work has been South Asia, Pakistan in particular. During the past two years, she has coordinated a study on the impact of fair trade certification on tea plantation workers’ working and living conditions in India and Sri Lanka.

About Antonie Fountain

Antonie Fountain (1978) is one of the key spokespersons for civil society in cocoa sector, and has been actively advocating sustainable cocoa production for more than a decade. He is co-founder and Managing Director of the VOICE Network, an umbrella organisation for civil society organisations working in sustainable cocoa, focusing on research and advocacy. Previously, he was founder and national Director of Stop The Traffik Netherlands, policy advisor of Stop The Traffik’s global  campaign against trafficking in the cocoa sector, and coordinator of the 10 Campaign, a global cooperation of NGO's and trade unions calling for legislation and enforcement to end human trafficking and the worst forms of child labour in West Africa's cocoa sector.