The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit, international membership organisation that is working to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To do this, we have united stakeholders from all sectors of the palm oil supply chain and civil society to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil production and procurement.

Since its inception in 2004, RSPO has enjoyed rapid growth and today has close to 5,000 members from 99 countries, including oil palm producers, processors, traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks, and non-governmental organisations. Thanks to the commitment and actions of these members, nearly 20% of the global supply of palm oil has already been certified as sustainable.

At RSPO, we believe that a not-for-profit organisation is made successful by the passion, skills, and expertise of its members and staff. We are committed to developing the highest standards of governance that reflect our multi-stakeholder structures and commitment to consensus-based decision-making through inclusive and participative processes.

Reporting directly to the Head of Risk Unit, the Manager of Risk (Human Rights and Social Standards) will be part of RSPO’s fast-growing Assurance team, and will work collaboratively across RSPO’s teams globally. The incumbent will manage human rights and social risks through planning and problem-solving, which include implementing processes to ensure that RSPO is fully prepared, putting plans in place if things go wrong, and deciding how to avoid or reduce these risks that potentially constitute a breach of RSPO standards and a violation of internationally proclaimed human rights.

The oil palm sector is increasingly being challenged to recognise and respond to the serious risk of human rights violations within its operations globally, whilst the respect for human rights is considered a fundamental business responsibility today under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

The location of this role is flexible.


Duties include but will not be limited to the following:

  • To integrate human rights and social risks into the overall risk management process for RSPO, which includes an analysis of the impact on the organisation when these risks occur. Subsequently, to manage the identification and measurement of human rights and social risks.
  • To align the overall risk management process with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights guidance and tools on human rights risks and impacts assessment.
  • To ensure the identification, assessment, and management of risks related to human rights and social standards are in line with RSPO standards and recognised international guidelines including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and are based on best practices and/or requirements of relevant standards that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • To design due diligence processes and investigation framework to look into the causes or situations that give rise to human rights and social risks within RSPO members’ activities and relationships, and develop a monitoring mechanism that keeps track of related indicators. This includes identifying risks that arise from RSPO members’ involvement in potential, actual, and perceived human rights violations.
  • To ensure that mitigation measures with regard to human rights and social risks are implemented, and the opportunities for improving RSPO members’ impact on human rights are identified and continuously enhanced.
  • To ensure functional alignment and coordination between various departments within the RSPO Secretariat and with relevant RSPO members about plans and approaches that affect the risk management of human rights and social standards. When necessary, set up  cross-functional teams across departments to implement risk management processes.
  • To integrate human rights and social risks management into the compliance processes (such as certification, Remediation and Compensation Procedure, New Planting Procedure, etc.) and the grievance mechanism, primarily in detecting problems and identifying mitigations as a form of prevention.
  • To provide expertise and engage stakeholders at local, regional, and global levels in a professional, consistent, and evidence-based manner to ensure RSPO standards are implemented  accurately, in close collaboration with the Compliance Unit and Standard Development Department. Establish frameworks to allow relevant stakeholders to identify and address human rights impacts more effectively, including data and intelligence sharing.
  • To ensure close contacts with relevant national and international human rights institutions, executive and legislative authorities, law enforcement, labour unions, and civil society groups engaged in the palm oil industry.
  • To conduct regular review of external parties and vendors used in human rights and social risks management. Review new vendor applications and sample reports, and provide recommendations to add to the approved list or delete from the approved list.
  • To analyse regional and international trends in precedents pertaining to human rights, including violations of human rights within the palm oil industry, and support innovation, adoption of best practices, development, and continuous improvement of relevant tools/systems/approaches in line with the RSPO Theory of Change.
  • To act as the focal point in matters relating to human rights and social standards for the Assurance Department, and provide advice of strategic and policy significance to the organisation.
  • To build human rights and social risks awareness amongst staff by providing support and training within the organisation, and work with staff at all levels to ensure that procedures are followed for the implementation of risk management plans.
  • Apart from the duties stated above, to perform any duty or duties reasonably assigned.


  • A university degree from top-tier programme in law, human rights, political science, international relations, public policy, or equivalent. A graduate degree would be advantageous.
  • At least five years of experience in a high-performing, fast-paced, and challenging environment.
  • Experience working on business and human rights issues, which could include as consultant to companies on human rights, working in civil society organisations on business and human rights, implementing human rights programmes, or undertaking and publishing significant research on business and human rights issues.


  • Knowledge of ISO 31000 Risk Management and other internationally recognised risk management techniques, guidelines, and benchmark.
  • A detailed understanding of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other recognised international guidelines on human rights.
  • A background in implementing wide-reaching human rights programmes in a national/international capacity.
  • Able to engage with a diverse stakeholder base, including NGOs, corporates, and governments.
  • Good understanding of the work of RSPO and its standards.
  • Familiar with other sustainability schemes (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance, etc.).
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).


  • Ability and willingness to work with people of different backgrounds and diverse political views while maintaining impartiality and objectivity with tact and diplomacy in dealing with both external persons and multinational staff.
  • Demonstrable organisational, analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Good understanding of both human rights and social situations in countries in which RSPO members operate.
  • High integrity and a good team player.
  • Goal-oriented and organised.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed.
  • Spanish, French, and/or Indonesian language skills are a plus.


Your commitment and passion to drive innovation will be rewarded with an opportunity to work in an international multi-stakeholder organisation, where making a difference to People, Planet and Prosperity is not just a statement, but what we passionately believe in.

Operating within a dynamic and fast-paced environment, you will enjoy functioning within a role that offers the opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop your capabilities.


Qualified applicants are invited to send in their updated CV giving comprehensive details of educational background, work experience, and related achievements to [email protected] Please state “Job Application – Manager, Risk (Human Rights and Social Standards)” in your email subject line.

**RSPO is an equal opportunity employer. Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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