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Guidelines to help Malaysian companies protect children in plantations
Guidelines to help Malaysian companies protect children in plantations
News 16 dic. 2020

READ EARTHWORM'S CHILD RISK ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK HERE.

The palm oil industry's impact on children has been under scrutiny recently from civil society and media.

On the other hand, companies lack guidelines on how to address the risks and challenges faced by children living in and around plantations. As such, Earthworm Foundation - with support from ADM Cares, Nestlé and PZ Cussons - have developed guidelines to help oil palm plantations protect children's rights.

"Companies have the potential to bring positive change to children’s lives," said Lynda Lim, the Malaysia lead for Earthworm's work on children in plantations. "Companies who employ a holistic approach in protecting children stand to gain."

The guideline is titled "Child Risk Assessment Framework: Guidelines and Self-Assessment Handbook for Palm Oil Producers in Malaysia." It aims to help palm oil producers identify issues and develop solutions to protect the rights of children in plantations.

It also aims to help companies adhere to national legislation, as well as international standards such as UNICEF's Children’s Rights and Business Principles, ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards, and corporate responsible sourcing commitments like NDPE (No Deforestation, Peat and Exploitation).

Malaysia has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and ILO conventions on minimum age (C138), child labour (C182) and forced labour (C29). It has also ratified the UN's Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

The Child Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) consists six toolkits covering key child rights issues:

  1. Child labour and young workers safety in oil palm plantations
  2. Education and child care
  3. Maternity protection, healthcare and nutrition
  4. Birth registration
  5. Child sexual exploitation, violence and abuse
  6. On-site safety, accommodation, water and sanitation

"These issues deserve care and attention to create a safe environment where children can live, learn and play," Lim said.

For more information on Earthworm's Children in Plantations project in Malaysia, please contact Lynda Lim at l.lim@earthworm.org.

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