The Indonesian government and palm oil community are working constantly to improve social welfare and labour conditions for the country’s palm oil workers. Indonesia works closely with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other trading partners improve practices, compliance and enforcement.

Last week, Fadhil Hasan, Senior Economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) wrote in the Jakarta Globe about the importance of the labour issue highlighting the measurable progress being made by the government and industry.

Hasan writes, “The US State Department’s most recent Trafficking in Persons has generally given Indonesia’s palm oil sector a positive report, despite NGO claims. One of the key reasons for this is that Indonesia is generally a source of trafficked labour, rather than a destination for trafficked labour. It is for this reason that the Indonesian government has established the Indonesian Migrant Worker Protection Agency (BP2MI), which operates a hotline to protect Indonesian workers overseas.”

European Countries Ranked Equal with Indonesia

Describing as “absurd” some of the wilder NGO claims about Indonesia, Hasan pointed out that, “Indonesia is considered a ‘Tier 2’ country on the US State Department report; this is a classification shared by wealthy countries such as Italy, Germany and Norway.”


Hasan also highlights that Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification is and will be a key element to ensuring labour and social welfare in the sector, “ISPO certification requires that companies adhere to all labour requirements, whether they are paying minimum wages, compliance to occupational health and safety regulations (K3) or adhering to human rights principles such as no child labour and no slavery.”

Fadhil Hasan concludes “what Indonesia’s international collaborations, business-government collaborations and certification initiatives underline is that Indonesia is not pretending that problems do not exist. Indonesia as a whole takes this problem seriously and as part of a national commitment to social welfare.”

Read the full article in the Jakarta Globe here.

For more information on ISPO, click here.