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​NHRC secures wages for unpaid tea workers

Graphic: Complaint being heard by NHRC members

Workers and their family members at the Boikunthapur Tea Estate had been denied wages, rations and medical care.

The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, Kazi Reazul Hoque, has said that the rights of workers from the Boikunthapur Tea Estate were "being violated" after inquiring into their complaint to the Commission.

About 2,400 people on the Boikunthapur Tea Estate, including workers and their family members, had been denied wages, rations and medical care, trapped in a modern-day form of slavery.

For 16 weeks they had been surviving on liquid extract from boiled rice, mashed tea leaves and chillies. The lone hospital in the tea garden had been closed for the previous six months and children of labourers had stopped going to school.

Following a complaint lodged by the tea workers, the Commission sent a team of investigators, led by Commissioner Md. Nazrul Islam, to the Boikunthapur Tea Estate to gather evidence.

The Commission then called a full bench hearing to resolve the problem, with the estate owner signing an undertaking to provide the labourers with all outstanding wages and rations.

In the presence of the Commission's Chairperson, the owner immediately paid the labourers two weeks of wages and promised to pay the remainder by October 2016.

Date: 26 August 2016

Source: National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh


Image credits

  1. Complaint being heard by NHRC members - National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh