Children as young as eight are doing back-breaking work to produce palm oil for household brands. Demand that the big brand companies stop profiting from child labour now.
Some of the world’s best known companies, including Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive and Kellogg’s, are using palm oil from Indonesian plantations where child labour is the norm and workers suffer from hard labour and long hours.
These big brand producers source palm oil from Wilmar International, one of the largest Indonesian palm oil plantation owners. Not only do these Indonesian plantations destroy precious rainforest and endangered animals, Amnesty has uncovered the following exploitation of plantation workers:
- Children as young as eight are doing hard labour which can cause physical damage. A 10-year-old boy told us he works six days a week. “I don’t go to school…I carry the sack with the loose fruit by myself but can only carry it half full…I do it in the rain as well but it is difficult…My hands hurt and my body aches.”
- Women are forced to work long hours under threat of pay cuts. They are paid below minimum wage – earning as little as US$2.50 a day in extreme cases.
- Workers labour for long hours to meet high targets. Tasks are physically demanding, such as cutting fruit from 20-metre-tall palm trees.
The abuse of workers on these plantations is clear – yet these producers are failing to do even basic human rights checks on their supply chain. Something is wrong when six companies turning over a combined revenue of $325 billion in 2015 won’t do something about the abuse of palm oil workers earning a pittance.