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Protecting the Rights of Children Living in Plantations

Palm Oil Industry Players Rally for Collective Action

Singapore – WEBWIRE

Palm oil buyers and producers are working together to launch a programme to protect the rights of children living in oil palm plantations. The programme, which will run until the end of 2020, includes developing a Child Protection and Safeguarding Implementation Manual as well as a series of capacity building workshops to enable suppliers to learn, discuss and implement pragmatic measures to strengthen the rights and protection of children.

Wilmar International Limited (Wilmar), together with major companies including Colgate Palmolive, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Neste, among others, are working in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to deliver the programme.

Perpetua George, General Manager of Group Sustainability of Wilmar, explained, “We remain committed towards upholding Human Rights in our own oil palm plantations as well as that of our third-party suppliers. Wilmar launched our Child Protection Policy in 2017 to address the need to protect the wellbeing and interests of children living in plantations. In May 2019, we also launched our new Human Rights Framework and the Women’s Charter.

“However, individual initiatives and efforts by industry players like Wilmar will not suffice. It is imperative to raise awareness and adoption by the rest of the industry to protect the rights and wellbeing of children in plantations. Hence, multi-stakeholder collaborations and industry-wide initiatives are essential to successfully develop and implement efforts intended on transforming the palm oil industry for the better,” she further added.

Commenting on the programme, Jeremy Prepscius, Vice President of Asia Pacific of BSR, said, “BSR welcomes this collaboration with Wilmar and the partner brands to take collective action to raise awareness and build capacity of suppliers to respect and protect children’s rights in the oil palm sector.”

The collaboration is part of an ongoing series of workshops, conducted by Wilmar in 2017 and 2018, for suppliers to improve working conditions and livelihoods of plantation workers. These efforts have resulted in positive brand and supplier engagements, with a deeper understanding of salient labour issues facing the oil palm sector. With growing support from partner brands, the industry is set to take much needed collective action on addressing impacts on children’s rights.


As a leading agribusiness group, Wilmar recognises that we have a fundamental role to play in developing quality products required by the world while ensuring we have a responsible and sustainable manner of production. We adopt a holistic approach to sustainability that is fully integrated with our business model. Guided by the philosophy that our business must enhance stakeholder value while minimising our environmental footprint, our business practices are aligned with universally acceptable social and environmental standards. Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy underpins our aspiration to make a positive impact and drive transformation across the palm oil industry.

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BSR is a global non-profit organisation that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research and cross-sector collaboration.


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