Discussions about the human rights impact of palm oil plantations

On 27 January, a report about the human rights impact of palm oil plantations in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan was launched in Jakarta by the Jakarta-based Institute for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Picture: the participants at the report launch in Jakarta (Photo: Ecosoc Institute)

Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Indonesian Palm Oil Association were present at the launch, so was civil society representatives and members of affected communities.

The report found that, in the areas examined, the palm oil industry created serious human rights problems related to access to food, water, health, wages, working hours and forceful takeover of land, among other things. It also found that state oversight of the sector was minimal.

An English version of the report can be downloaded here. (This is an updated version). The report was based to a large extent on interviews with members of communities located close to palm oil plantations, as well as with transmigrants, company workers and representatives from local governments, conducted in 2013.

The role of the Indonesia Programme was to advice during the design of the project, as well as during the report-writing phase. The data collection in the field was conducted by three Indonesian organisations: The Institute for Ecosoc Rights, and two organisations with offices in Palangkaraya, JPIC and The Institute for Dayak Culture (Lembaga Kebudyaan Dayak). These organisations have full ownership over the data collected, as well as for the conclusions, claims and recommendations made in the report.

A 30-min youtube-video with highlights from the discussion in Jakarta is available here (in Indonesian).

Dissemination in Central Kalimantan

Before the launch in Jakarta, a number of discussions about the research findings had been organised at province level throughout 2014, targeting village administration, traditional leaders and local government representatives, and adat (customary) communities.

The pictures below show some of the places that were visited; the villages Jumaat, Liku and Karangmas, all located in Batangkawa subdistrict, Lamandau district, Central Kalimantan province, and still largely unaffected by palm oil.


Liku Village

Published Feb. 6, 2015 9:05 AM - Last modified Nov. 19, 2015 3:49 PM