In 2017, 152 million children aged 5 to 17 were subject to child labour. They are often living in poverty, with no way of getting an education. The Forest Trust (TFT) is a member-based non-profit organisation that works to promote environmental and social sustainability in commodity supply chains. Earlier this year they brought together palm oil plantation owners, along with Nestlé and Wilmar, one of the world’s biggest palm oil companies, to support businesses to make a commitment to “no child labour”, and to pave the way for greater collaboration with civil society and expert organizations.
The main objective of the consultation was to hear from businesses about the reality of children and young people working in plantations, challenges faced by employers to address the issue and root causes, as well as to discuss possible solutions and ways forward. About 50 participants from small, medium and large palm oil companies attended, most of whom operate in the east coast of Sabah.