According to recent reports, the global palm oil market is expected to reach USD 92.84 billion in 2021. Palm oil and palm-based ingredients are found in
approximately 50 percent of supermarket products making them ever present in our daily consumption – yet the workers who harvest this ubiquitous oil remain largely hidden from the public eye. Research shows that forced and trafficked labor exists in some palm oil supply chains and that risks are higher in operations that rely heavily on migrant workers. One of the main contributory factors is that the palm oil sector is characterized by institutional fragmentation of the cross-border recruitment marketplace, where employers, recruiters, and their local and regional subcontractors may operate in different jurisdictions with limited accountability to one another, to regulators, or to workers. This has led to a host of problems that have for years plagued the sector, including excessive recruitment fee charging, passport confiscation and restriction of workers’ movements, contract fraud, unauthorized deductions in wages, poor working conditions and inadequate access to affordable food supplies, debt bondage, no freedom of association, a lack of legal and financial remedies, illegal outsourcing of foreign workers to labor contractors, and other exploitative host-country conditions.

Addressing these issues requires employers to take control of the recruitment process by: gaining full visibility into how workers are selected, hired and subsequently brought to the work site; ensuring that workers are fully prepared for and freely choose the job; and ensuring that workers are able to pre-terminate their contract of employment freely and without any penalty. This paper aims to help companies in the palm oil sector improve their recruitment practices by promoting a “systems approach” to social compliance, and human rights-based due diligence as an ongoing risk management process in their operations and supply chains.

A Brief Guide to Ethical Recruitment for the Palm Oil Sector - Verité 2021 DOWNLOAD














Battling Human Trafficking: A Scrutiny of Private Sector Obligations under the Modern Slavery Act
News & AnalysisPublications

Battling Human Trafficking: How Far Have We Come and Where Do We Go From Here? A Scrutiny of Private Sector Obligations under the Modern Slavery Act by Lucia Bird Ruiz-Benitez de Lugo co-published by the Global Initiative against Transnational Or...Read More

TAGS: Europe
Still in chains
News & Analysis

A UK House of Lords report is highly critical of the apathy shown by the private sector towards combating modern slavery in their supply chains. Over 40 million people around the world are believed to work in conditions constituting modern slave...Read More

TAGS: Europe
Scaling Impact: Tech Against Trafficking Launches Accelerator Program
News & Analysis

By: Hannah Darnton, Business for Social Responsibility There are few facets of modern life that are untouched by technology. Innovations in the industry have changed the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we conduct commerce, and the wa...Read More

When We Talk About Human Trafficking, We Also Need To Talk About Tech. Here’s Why.
News & Analysis

Authors:Louise Shelley Hirst Chair and Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason UniversityChristina Bain Director of the Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Babson College Human tr...Read More