Since 2017, Earthworm Foundation has been actively promoting industry-wide efforts to improve the well-being of children in oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysia. Our efforts so far have focused on bringing transparency into child protection issues at sites by convening government, businesses, NGOs and experts; with the aim of understanding challenges, clarifying regulations and exploring how businesses can ensure child labour-free supply chains. Past activities include:
- the 2017 "Children in Plantations of Sabah – Business Stakeholders’ Consultation" in Sandakan, Sabah; and
- the 2018 "Children in Plantations of Sabah – Consultation with Government Agencies and Civil Society Organisations" organised in collaboration with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
A key challenge arising from these consultations was that businesses on the ground need support to implement sustainable solutions on child protection. And civil society organisations that provide such services do not always have a link with these companies.
As such, Earthworm Foundation -- in collaboration with ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) Cares, Avon, Nestlé and Wilmar International -- has developed a directory of social services to help businesses improve the welfare of children in plantations. "Services for Vulnerable Children in Sabah: What Businesses and Employees Need to Know" is a publication that aims to pave the way for better collaboration among businesses, civil society organisations (CSOs), government service providers and other stakeholders in Sabah. It offers a directory of potential services for vulnerable children, including access to alternative education, community engagement, birth registration initiatives and other related services.
The Bahasa Malaysia version of the directory can be found HERE.