As part of ongoing efforts to advocate for sustainable and responsible business practices, the Grant & Eisenhofer ESG Institute has filed a petition with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block the import of palm oil produced using forced and child labor. The petition targets palm oil products produced in Malaysia by FGV Holdings Berhad, a government part-owned company that traps workers on remotely located palm oil plantations under slave-like conditions.
On FGV plantations, there is evidence of inadequate food supplies, dire housing arrangements, and violations of Malaysian law, such as forcing workers to meet extremely high quotas before becoming entitled to the minimum hourly wage. Furthermore, there is evidence that employers withhold workers’ passports, making it essentially impossible for the workers to find work elsewhere even if they do attempt escape. In filing an official petition, G&E director Olav Haazen said, “We’re hoping that the CPB will take immediate notice of the petition. Human rights should not be disregarded at our ports of entry that are under the CPB’s charge, and it’s time that forced labor behind FGV palm oil production is addressed.”
We encourage you to read the petition and the press release.