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RSPO, JAPBUSI,  ILO, and CNV co-host workshop on human- and labour rights

In Jakarta, Indonesia, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), International Labour Organization (ILO), and Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (CNV) International, co-hosted a workshop with Jaringan Serikat Pekerja dan Serikat Buruh Sawit Indonesia (JAPBUSI); the Indonesian Palm Oil Labour Network, to identify how best to educate and empower workers in Indonesia, strengthen the strategies and interventions relating to human and labour rights in the palm oil sector.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), International Labour Organization (ILO), and Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (CNV) International, co-hosted a workshop on March 21, 2019, with Jaringan Serikat Pekerja dan Serikat Buruh Sawit Indonesia (JAPBUSI) to identify how best to educate and empower workers, strengthen the strategies and interventions relating to human and labour rights in the Indonesian palm oil sector (photo courtesy RSPO).

With nine Indonesian Labour Union Federations and four Confederations in attendance, the workshop provided an ideal platform for RSPO and industry players to hear the voices of oil palm workers, as well as to identify ways to educate and empower them to better understand their rights within the sustainable development of palm oil. It was held on the International Day of Forests that had forests and education as its 2019 theme.

Workshops like this are invaluable to the work we do as it helps us better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by oil palm workers at the local level here in Indonesia. It also gives us the opportunity to highlight the important changes relating to labour and human rights in our revised certification standards; RSPO’s Principles and Criteria (P&C) 2018, commented Kamini Visvananthan, RSPO Human Rights and Social Standards Manager.

To help illustrate these key changes to the group, RSPO drew connections between some of the issues identified in a recent labour compliance study conducted in Indonesia by Profundo, and how these were addressed in the P&C 2018, including best practices for implementation.

We feel that an initiative like what we have today is important, in order to encourage trade unions to know more about the new RSPO Principles and Criteria, which can be used for negotiation with companies, said Nuranna, Executive Secretary of JAPBUSI.

JAPBUSI is a network of Indonesian oil palm trade unions and unions, an ad-hoc network established to promote justice and welfare for workers working in the oil palm sector in Indonesia from upstream to downstream. This network is committed and collaborates together in voicing, advocating for, and fighting for the rights of workers/laborers in the palm oil industry in Indonesia.

In the coming months, RSPO’s Labour Task Force (LTF) will be producing an auditing guidance document to assist auditors with auditing labour compliances in their auditing process, a guidance on Child Rights for Palm Oil Companies, and a guidance document on implementing a Decent Living Wage (DLW), in line with the RSPO’s move to pay a decent living wage to all workers in RSPO certified units.

To this end, RSPO says that it will make further efforts to strengthen its efforts to mitigate labour abuses in the sector.

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