The Centre for Child Rights and Business to host ‘Towards a Family-Friendly Tea Industry’ conference

The Centre for Child Rights and Business in Sri Lanka (The Centre) is
scheduled to host a conference on the 22 nd November 2022, under the theme ‘Towards a Family-
Friendly Tea Industry’. The one-day conference, supported by Save the Children’s Country Office in Sri
Lanka, will take place in Colombo and bring together child rights specialists, women trade union
activists, government entities, regional plantation companies, tea exporters, and other stakeholders
from the entire tea supply chain.
The conference will provide a platform for stakeholders to share best practices and discuss how
stakeholders in the tea industry could better collaborate to find solutions to existing and emerging
challenges that plantation communities face. The six panel discussions will cover various topics, namely
‘Food Security and Nutrition’, ‘Child Protection’, ‘Gender Equality and Justice’, ‘Impact of Climate
Change’, ‘Access to Quality Education’ and ‘Adolescent and Youth Skills Development’.
Dr. Ines Kaempfer, CEO of The Centre, emphasizes the importance of a family-friendly supply chain and
its impact on businesses and communities. She states, “Children have the right to health, education,
family, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living, and protection from abuse and harm.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for all children. As such, businesses play an important role in either
being a multiplying factor to child rights violations or an enabler of child rights.” Dr. Kaempfer further
explained that this is why the private sector should invest in ensuring that their business operations and
supply chains are family-friendly.
Ahila Thillainathan, Country Director for The Centre in Sri Lanka said, “This conference is one of a series
of initiatives that The Centre is facilitating towards multi-stakeholder engagement to promote child
rights in businesses in Sri Lanka. We have invited the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) –
London School of Economics to share their experience on developing a multi-dimensional equality
framework for children in the hope that it would spark new ideas and contribute towards the ongoing
discussions that the ‘Tea 2030 Roadmap’ strategy group, spearheaded by Ceylon Tea Traders
Association, is currently having on the social and economic sustainability of the tea industry.”
The conference will build on the ‘Mother and Child Friendly Seal for Responsible Business’ launched by
The Centre on 15 th June 2022 earlier this year. The Seal Initiative supports business entities in
undertaking a capacity self-assessment to: 1) better understand where they are currently at in terms of
addressing potential risks to children in their own business operations, as well as that of their supply
chain; 2) make meaningful investments that will strengthen and address prioritised areas; 3) collaborate

with other stakeholders such as development agencies, civil society organisations, and government
institutions to promote and protect women and children’s rights; and 4) demonstrate the Sri Lankan tea
industry’s progress in its transformation as a family-friendly tea supply chain.
Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, Planters Association of Ceylon’s Media Spokesperson and Managing Director of
Hayleys Plantations pointed out, “Women have been integral to the development of Sri Lanka’s tea
industry for generations. In the context of the present economic crisis, it is vital that all stakeholders
band together to protect these most vulnerable communities.” 
Julian Chellappah, National Director of Save the Children’s Country Office in Sri Lanka stated that, Save
the Children has for over 8 years, worked to improve the lives of children living in tea estates by
strengthening community-based child protection mechanisms and empowering children to advocate for
their rights. To continue this work in a sustainable manner, Save the Children facilitated the
establishment of The Centre for Child Rights and Business in Sri Lanka in 2022. He added, “We partnered
with The Centre for Child Rights and Business in Sri Lanka with an aim to create the ‘Mother and Child
Friendly Seal for Responsible Business’ to differentiate Sri Lankan tea in the marketplace. We are very
proud of the way this work is being carried forward by The Centre, and we will continue to work with
them as one of our strategic partners.”
About The Centre for Child Rights and Business
The Centre for Child Rights and Business supports companies to deliver improvements within their
supply chains that benefit workers, families and children, and deliver positive business outcomes. Our
mission is to improve the lives of children by working with companies to promote and respect children’s
rights in all their operations, with a particular focus on supply chains in manufacturing, agricultural and
raw materials settings. Throughout our work, we strive to create tangible and long-term impact that
serves both children, parent workers and business.
About Save the Children
Save the Children is a global leader in development and humanitarian programming, working for over
100 years as the pre-eminent voice for children with governments, civil society and private sector
partners in 120 countries worldwide. In Sri Lanka, Save the Children was established in 1974, at the
request of the government, to assist in their efforts to address issues faced by children in the country.
The organization has been contributing to both humanitarian and development needs in Sri Lanka for 48
About The Planters’ Association of Ceylon
The Planters’ Association of Ceylon is the apex body of the plantation sector, representing 23 Regional
Plantation Companies (RPCs) to promote, foster and protect the plantation industry of Sri Lanka and the
interests of the planting community. The RPC sector provides direct employment to a workforce of
approximately 165,000 workers, out of a resident community that is in excess of 1 million. Apart from
providing, healthcare, maternal care and custodial child care RPCs have constructed over 48,000
individual housing as well as water and sanitation facilities across its estates.

To learn more about the Mother and Child-Friendly Seal for Responsible Business, please visit
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