Latest modern slavery fight updates - FreedomUnited.org

Palm Oil Giant, IOI, Announces Major Labor Reforms

  • Published on
    October 31, 2017
  • Category:
    Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Supply Chain
Hero Banner

Palm oil company, IOI Corp Bhd, has announced major labor reforms — a move lauded by NGOs including Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Finnwatch, and Tenaganita as setting a new standard in the industry.

The Edge Markets reports that “IOI Corp has expressed its commitment not to charge recruitment-related fees to foreign workers, to provide a living wage determined through credible methodology, and to provide trade unions with free access to its estates.”

“Under its new wage policy, IOI Corp has committed to paying a monthly minimum wage, topped with productivity-linked incentives to its workers. On recruitment-related fees, IOI Corp has indicated that any fees found to be charged will be reimbursed to workers, the statement read. This policy is to be enforced with systematic after-arrival interviews.”

These new policies were seen as a welcome move by labor rights activists who hope that other palm oil companies will follow suit. The Malaysian palm oil industry has for years been scrutinized for its use of forced labor and practices that exploit migrant workers through debt bondage and high recruitment fees.

Glorene Das from Malaysian NGO Tenaganita explained, “Often, workers are charged large recruitment fees by third-party labour brokers to secure their jobs on the plantations, and must work off the debt leaving them in a situation of bonded labour. This indebtedness and limitations on their freedom of movement amount to conditions of modern day slavery.”

Finnwatch executive director Sonja Vartiala cautioned that while this is an important policy change, the real test will be in implementation. “Consumer brand companies and buyers committing to ending forced labour in their supply chains must monitor IOI’s progress and require full implementation of these policies,” she said.

Subscribe

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Rounded up and abandoned: Europe’s covert support of migrant atrocities

It is well documented that inhumane immigration policies are forcing migrants to take extremely risky routes on their journey to seek asylum in Europe and globally. However, a year-long investigation by the Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports, and a consortium of international media outlets uncovered that migrant lives are not just at risk due to sketchy channel crossings and being packed in the back of refrigerator trucks. To dissuade sub-Saharan

| Wednesday May 22, 2024

Read more