In relation to the report titled “Palm-Oil Migrant Workers Tell of Abuses on Malaysian Plantations”, published by The Wall Street Journal on 26th July 2015.
The RSPO Complaints Panel have met on Wednesday 29th July and deliberated on the Wall Street Journal article’s findings. We report below the Panel’s decision:
"The Panel notes that issues related to Labour, Human Rights and Social Conditions of workers are again in the limelight. The report by WSJ on Felda/FGVH being the most recent. Previously there were complaints against RSPO members on workers and/or child Labour. The Panel notes there was also a report on workers/Human rights issues in Malaysia commissioned by the US government last year. And the report highlighted issues in Malaysia in the Palm oil sector.
The above, combined with the fact that this report is on a member that has certified some of its management units, give cause to the Panel to request the RSPO Secretariat to conduct an independent assessment of RSPO Certification Bodies competency in identifying non-compliances related to worker and human rights issues. This should not be confined to Felda but should consider and report comprehensively to the RSPO on the extent of these issues as they affect all RSPO certified members ,initially within Malaysia. Depending on the outcome of this report, it may be desirable to commission further reports from other regions."
While in the process of obtaining more information in regards to the exact location of the reported findings, the RSPO Secretariat has contacted Accreditation Services International (ASI) who will be tasked to design and carry out a plan of action on the above. The plan will comprise of investigations of Certified Plantations, initially in Malaysia. A more detailed plan of action will be shared by the RSPO Secretariat and ASI by mid August.