Published: 16/08/2013

The IUF has welcomed a report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek which focuses on the appalling working conditions on palm oil plantations. It points out that the industry has been widely criticized by environmental activists for the destruction of the rainforests and natural habitats in Indonesia and Malaysia but that “the human costs of the palm oil boom, however, have been largely overlooked”.

The report is based on a nine-month investigation of the industry, including interviews with workers on 12 plantations on Borneo and Sumatra – the two islands that hold 96 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil operations. It reveals widespread abuses of basic human rights including that among the estimated 3.7 million workers in the industry are thousands of child laborers and workers who face dangerous and abusive conditions and extensive debt bondage.

The report is accompanied by an impressive set of photographs.