One of the most important issues surrounding the palm oil industry is about human rights. Although we’re sharing some of the main concerns , know that this is a complicated issue and there are many resources you can also consult to learn more.
What’s going on?
Palm oil plantations are mainly created in poor areas and are promoted as ways of bringing development to the areas. The palm oil producing companies are allowed (by local governments) to take land away from the indigenous people as a way to support the economy.
The deforestation process to create plantations leaves indigenous people vulnerable and dependent on plantation jobs to survive.
The people working on plantations are treated very poorly. There are impossibly high quotas that workers are expected to meet, so they often have to recruit their children to help. Unpair child labor has become a common practice, forcing many children to drop out of school.
There is little to no safety provided for any workers, children included.
Gender discrimination is also an everyday occurrence on palm plantations. Women are hired mainly as casual daily workers, denying them permanent employment and social security benefits.
To hear personal accounts on working in palm oil plantations, read here.