In relation to the report titled “Palm-Oil Migrant Workers Tell of Abuses on Malaysian Plantations”, published by The Wall Street Journal on 26th July 2015.
After considering the decision of the Complaints Panel published on 3rd Aug 2015, and taking into consideration the fact that the Wall Street Journal did not agree to share more information nor the actual location of where the report’s evidence was gathered, the RSPO Secretariat has decided to engage Accreditation Services International (ASI) to proceed with the following:
- Perform a compliance audit on the FELDA units situated in the area linked to the findings in the report and
- Perform an integrity check of RSPO Certification Bodies and their audit process in Malaysia.
The above audits will be focused on assessing compliance to the aspects of the RSPO Principles and Criteria standard that are related to Human Rights.
With regards to point 1 above, the compliance audit will cover the following 3 Felda units in Jempol, Malaysia.
- Pasoh Palm Oil Mill
- Serting Hilir Palm Oil Mill
- Palong Timur Palm Oil Mill
It is being planned that the audit will take place during the week of 14th Sept 2015. Two ASI auditors will visit the above sites to carry out the investigations, and will then compile a full report. The RSPO will then publish the results of such report by the first week of October 2015.
In regards to point 2 above, the integrity check of RSPO Certification Bodies and their audit process in Malaysia, will be carried out in October 2015, and will possibly be extended to other countries as well depending on the outcome of the report.
The RSPO takes this matter very seriously and will seek for a thorough assessment of any alleged non-compliance and prompt clarification on this case. In the case of any breach of the RSPO standard being identified, this will be dealt with through the accreditation programme process. More importantly, we aim for this assessment to serve as a way to improve the implementation of RSPO Social requirements on the ground in the future.