Human rights in the workforce is one of the issues frequently associated with the oil palm industry. Although the larger industry players have put in place labour policies and ensure strict protection of human rights in their operations, many of the smaller still have yet to begin tackling the issue.
It was in this regard that Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food organised a two-day SMART Sustainable Palm Oil Training (SPOT) event “Human Rights in Business and Labour Affairs”. We gathered our company’s suppliers based in North Sumatra, and invited three speakers to share their expertise. Ono Haryono, a representative from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM); Rajani Lindung Sirait, who is with the North Sumatra Provincial Labour Office (Disnakertrans); and Irfan Afandi, an International Labour Organisation (ILO) representative.
The training provided participants with insights into the reform of various rules and regulations related to employment and occupational health and safety, as well as encouraged them to adopt and put key human rights principles into practice. In addition, the participants used this platform to share their thoughts on the implementation of these human rights principles in their own companies.
Through this training, the participants received thought-provoking information such as the “Key Principles of Human Rights in Business” presented by Ono Haryono from Komnas HAM, “Indonesia’s palm oil diplomacy to the global community needs to go hand-in-hand with improvements inside the palm oil industry. This, for example, includes respect for human rights, preparation of human rights due diligence mechanisms, identification of risks of violation in the industry and remediation mechanisms that are easily accessible by the public.”
No less interesting than the former, on the second day, ILO’s Irfan Afandi sparked the discussion with the idea that, “Capacity building for employers, workers and the government in relation to labour standards, occupational health and safety, workplace improvements, collective bargaining, productivity, workers and labour inspection, is an important aspect of ILO’s strategy to create decent employment in the palm oil industry.”
The training took place from 7-8 May 2018 at Hotel Grandhika, Medan, and was attended by 28 participants from 12 suppliers. This event serves as evidence of the Company’s commitment to supporting suppliers in improving and implementing sustainable palm oil production practices.
Through such events, suppliers acquire an adequate understanding of human rights along with labour principles and continue to enhance their implementation in suppliers’ respective operations.
Our Supply Chain Team also holds SMART SEED (Social and Environmental Excellence Development) events to ensure traceability and responsible employment with our suppliers. Read more here.
Ayu Pratiwi Lubis is a supply chain development specialist at Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food. She has a keen interest in environmental health topics, and works closely with the Company’s palm oil suppliers, focusing on improving their compliance with the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP). Ayu is a graduate of the University of Indonesia (Environmental Health Study Programme) and the Bandung Institute of Technology (Master of Business Administration).