Workers' Rights Watch (WRW) is a non-profit, civil society organization founded in 2009 under the Society Act in Kenya. They exist primarily to promote a healthy work environment for vulnerable workers, with a key interest in Kenya’s horticultural sector. Their work is based around four thematic areas, namely: responsible governments, responsible businesses, responsible organizations and responsible citizenry. WRW grew out of an association of shop stewards and key leaders in Kenya, created out of a concern that social ethical business practices were not being followed in the industries despite there being voluntary systems of self-regulation by way of audits and labor inspections.
Tackling sexual harassment in flower farms in Kenya
Workers’ Rights Watch and Haki Mashinani are partnering in this project to tackle sexual harassment in flower farms in Kenya. In 2015, Workers’ Rights Watch developed a model sexual harassment workplace policy, aimed at creating participatory and sustainable workplace structures that protect women workers from sexual harassment.
After an initial pilot on seven Kenyan farms, the policy is now being endorsed by the export association Kenya Flower Council and certification body Fairtrade International. The two bodies require that their members comply with standard indicators drawn from the project. This brings in the indirect commitment of at least 105 flower farms.
Workers’ Rights Watch and Haki Mashinani are contributing with activities aimed at creating awareness about sexual harassment amongst both workers and farmers and advocates for transparent reporting mechanisms and disciplinary action to be taken. Both male and female change ambassadors are identified and trained to highlight challenges faced by female workers and to champion for their rights especially amidst male colleagues.