Following the adoption of the RSPO Policy on Human Rights Defenders, Whistleblowers, Complainants and Community Spokespersons, RSPO has now launched the Human Rights Defender (HRD) Hotline for at-risk individuals who have reported in good faith and on reasonable grounds against a RSPO member or an affiliate. This marks a significant step forward in terms of our progress and commitment to upholding human rights and safeguarding the welfare of those involved in reporting human rights violations, in connection with the activities of a RSPO member.
The HRD Hotline provides a direct line of communication for individuals to report any threat and/or misconduct perpetrated by a RSPO member that requires urgent intervention from the RSPO. While not mandated to provide physical protection such as extraction or relocation of HRDs to safe houses, RSPO will endeavour to facilitate this by identifying other organisations in relevant jurisdictions to provide assistance to mitigate risks or provide additional support (e.g. NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions and/or Regional/International Human Rights Mechanisms).
This HRD hotline is established as a result of the implementation of the policy, which endeavours to do the following:
- To create a platform for human rights defenders, whistleblowers and community spokespersons to lodge complaints with the RSPO Complaints Panel on activities undertaken by RSPO members, which may undermine their safety and security;
- To establish clear operational guidelines on the coordination, administration, and response to the allegations of threats;
- To ensure the commitment of RSPO members in developing internal policies and mechanisms to prevent harm, protect, and respond to complaints on any alleged threats or violence committed against or by their affiliates.