April 1, 2021 – Today marks the three-month anniversary of the horrific murder of 20-year-old Jeyasre Kathiravel, an Indian Dalit woman who was a garment worker and union member organizing against gender-based violence and harassment at a major Indian garment manufacturer which has business with many prominent U.S. and European fashion brands. As reported in the Guardian, Jeyasre faced months of sexual harassment by her supervisor before he murdered her, exactly three months ago. Since her death, 25 other women garment workers at the same factory have come forward and publicly described a culture of gender-based violence and harassment at the particular unit where Jeyasre worked — Natchi Apparels.
In light of these incidents, the Global 16 Days Campaign at Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) joins Jeyasre’s family, the Tamil Nadu Textile and Common Labour Union (TTCU) of which she was a member, Global Labor Justice–International Labor Justice (GLJ-ILRF), The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA), National Organization for Women (NOW), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) of the AFL-CIO, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), The International Dalit Solidarity Network and other allies to organize a Global Vigil on April 21, 2021 to honor the life of Jeyasre and to show solidarity with her fellow garment workers who continue to organize for an end to gender-based violence and harassment in global garment supply chains.
“The right to freedom from violence and harassment in the world of work is a basic human right, as recently reaffirmed by the ILO Convention 190. Women face an increased risk of violence and harassment at work and governments, as well as transnational corporations, must do everything they can to prevent and address it in accordance with their international legal obligations,” said Melissa Upreti, Senior Director, Program and Global Advocacy at CWGL. The key demands of the “Justice for Jeyasre Global Vigil” include: Just compensation for Jeyasre’s family [agreement reached as on March 31, 2021], an end to any and all coercion and retaliation related to this case and an enforceable agreement [in the form of an Enforceable Brand Agreement – EBA] with Brands, Eastman Exports, and TTCU that includes monitoring, remediation, and prevention of gender-based violence and barriers to freedom of association.
The Global Vigil will be held on April 21 at 10 AM EDT / 7:30 PM IST / 2 PM UTC, virtually on Zoom, livestreamed on Facebook and projected in the community where the workers work. Interested parties can register for the Global Vigil here.
For further information, contact:
Ardra Manasi at CWGL via email – firstname.lastname@example.org