Palm Oil and Human Trafficking in South East Asia


Recently, the United States Department of Labor released a report (Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act) which contains a list provided by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) from December 15, 2010 listing goods which are being produced by child and forced labor around the world. 


As has been discussed in recent posts, palm oil is a common commodity used in the food we eat and the products we use everyday. However, it is also a highly controversial product that is not only destructive to the rainforest environment in the top palm oil production countries of Indonesia and Malaysia but has also now been listed as a product of child and forced labor in these countries as well by the ILAB report (see pages 13, 14, and 21 of the list by clicking here).


Human trafficking is an ever increasing and highly disturbing international concern. Most of the general public is not aware that child and forced labor in agricultural and factory settings contends for the majority of human trafficking cases. In the case of palm oil, children and young adults are forced stay confined in camps where they must work under immoral conditions--such as spraying pesticides for hours with no protective gear--and receive little to no pay. And this is only one such circumstance. 


Don’t believe there is nothing you can do to put an end to human trafficking in the palm oil industry! Already, companies have begun to either be more responsible in their harvesting of this commodity or eliminate the use of it all together. You can help by increasing your awareness of palm oil, both its good benefits and bad effects, and spread the word to your community. Awareness is the key to working together to create a better world! 

Sources (check them out for more in-depth information): 

And for more information and statistics on human trafficking visit