The article that follows is a fascinating, first-hand account describing the evolution of how labor and human rights in the palm oil sector have been—and will be—addressed. Daryll Delgado, author of the article and Director of Verité Southeast Asia, has been a participant in the past two review processes of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s Principles and Criteria (P&C). She shares her insights on the new standards addressed in the P&C, including human rights, land grabs, and wages, as well as her thoughts on the adoption of the new certification standards.
The Big Business Behind the Low Wage J-1 Au Pair Program:
A new report explores the structural deficiencies in the J-1 au pair program that contribute to labor rights abuses.
Verité is proud to unveil the updated Forced Labor Commodity Atlas. This new Commodity Atlas features the following nine commodities: coffee, cocoa, cotton, fish, gold, palm oil, sugar, tea, and tobacco. As our team continues to update our commodity reports with the most up-to-date research and resources in the coming year, we will add new commodity pages for all 43 commodities from the report: Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal and Corporate Supply Chains: Research on Risk in 43 Commodities Worldwide, made possible through support provided by the U.S. Department of State.
The celebration of Earth Day this month provides the opportunity to reflect on the overlap between labor rights and the environment. Verité has found a strong correlation between labor abuses and environmental damages. Often, activities that violate environmental regulations take place in areas where the government lacks the capacity to adequately enforce the law. Verité’s research into palm oil and illegal gold mining, for example, has found that the absence of the rule of law at remote worksites can result in permanent ecosystem damage, dangerous working conditions, and risk of forced labor.
Verité has written in this space previously regarding our in-depth research on the risk of human and labor rights abuses in the production of palm oil in Guatemala, with the generous support of Humanity United, which also funded this research in Ecuador.