Third Sector Awards 2019: Big Impact Award - UNICEF and the Ethical Tea Partnership

Awarded to a project that has had a substantial impact on national or international life

The project transformed the lives of thousands of women and young girls in Assam tea estates

Who was involved in the project?

The Ethical Tea Partnership joined with UNICEF to transform the lives of thousands of women and young girls in tea estates in Assam. The £1.2m, three-year programme, launched in 2014, brought together the public, private and NGO sectors, as well as Indian government departments. It was funded by IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and ETP members OTG, Tata Global Beverages, Taylors of Harrogate, Tesco and Typhoo. The Indian Tea Association and Bharatiya Cha Parishad, representing more than 60 per cent of tea production in Assam, were also partners.

What was the project?

Child marriage, child trafficking and low school attendance rates are common issues for young girls living in tea garden communities in Assam. The partnership established Adolescent Girls Groups and Child Protection Committees in each community, providing knowledge and skills to prevent and report abuse and exploitation. Training was provided for community health workers and police, and women and children's units were set up across government district offices to improve the coordination and delivery of services. The programme also delivered training, advice and consultancy to government staff to improve the regulatory framework for child protection.

What did it achieve?

The programme smashed its original target of reaching 25,000 adolescent girls and 10,000 community members. It improved safety for more than 35,000 girls and equipped more than 30,000 community members with skills to protect children against trafficking and unsafe migration. The project trained 1,000 police and social workers, prevented more than 100 cases of child marriage and re-enrolled 475 children in school. Building on this work, an expanded set of funders launched a second phase in 2018, the Improving Lives programme, helping more than 250,000 women and children across more than a quarter of Assam's tea estates.


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