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Flower industry improves workers rights

Workers Rights Watch (WRW) in Kenya is developing a matrix that will give good indicators to establish cases of sexual harassment in the flower industry. Although sexual misconduct has declined significantly at flowers farms,  with the exception of a few, according to WRW, there is still a lot of unclarity about what the Kenyan law exactly articulates on workers rights and sexual harassment.

During a recent workshop, organised by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), the participants therefore agreed that the flower industry needs a unified certification approach to ensure all farms are compliant and workers rights are adhered to.

According tot WRW general secretary Eunice Waweru, the flower industry in Kenya has come a long way in ensuring workers’ rights are observed. Human resource managers and gender committees at farms have played a significant role in this.

At the same workshop it was noted that most farmworkers have a low level of education compared to managers, most of whom have at least a degree. This discrepancy in education has a negative impact on communication.

Communication is also poor between flower farms and agencies like the Horticultural Crop Development Authority (HCDA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Kenya Plant Health Inspection Services (KPEHIS) among others.

Farms were therefore asked to be pro-active in seeking information as well as communicating with the agencies. Development and implementation of an effective communication strategy is a major way to ensure Kenya flowers are branded and made known locally and internationally, the workshop concluded.

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