Children’s rights in the palm oil sector
Local and national plantation companies have become involved in the implementation of children’s rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Children's Rights Toolkit
The Centre of Child Study and Protection (PKPA), a local NGO based in Medan, has developed the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) toolkit in applicable and participatory ways focusing on the palm oil sector – the biggest commodity of Indonesia. CRBP itself is a global instrument developed by three international organisations; a normative guideline for all sectors and issues. Along with other civil society organizations, government, academics, as well as plantation companies, the toolkit draft then formulated by PKPA.
PT. Golden Agri Resources (GAR)/ Sinarmas – a prominent multinational company and PT. Amal Tani and PT. Langkat Nusantara Kepong (LNK) – local plantation companies based in North Sumatera – have been playing important roles in the development of the CRBP toolkit in the palm oil plantation sector.
Plantation companies become more involved in CSR
As PKPA expertise is to organise the community at the grassroots level, it is easier for PKPA to do constructive communication with relevant stakeholders, including palm oil plantation companies. The last three principles of the toolkit address the concern of community development. This becomes the entry point for companies in doing CSR, making it possible to implement the toolkit in a more applicable way. Specifically, there were some activities that resulted from the cooperation between PKPA and the plantation companies: the production of fiction film "There is Always a Way/ Selalu Ada Jalan" to promote the toolkit and good practices of CSR programmes in cooperation with PT. LNK, initiation of child-friendly CSR/CSR sahabat anak in cooperation with PT. Amal Tani, and a pilot project in five companies in North Sumatra and Riaup provinces in cooperation with PT. GAR/ Sinarmas. Thus, their cooperative acts showed the behavioural changes made by several plantation companies to be more concerned on children’s rights in the business process.
Furthermore, the Alliance supported PKPA to advocate for the implementation of children’s rights in plantation sector. PKPA is a member of the national network for the elimination of child laborers in Indonesia to implement the National Plan of Action for Child Labor Free Indonesia by 2022. The program of the Alliance also contributed to the implementation of the National Program for Child Labor Free Indonesia by the Ministry of Labor. The creation of child-friendly village is a national program of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection. Hopefully, through the constructive social dialogue between the three pillars of Child-Friendly City (community, company, and government), this CSR program can move toward empowerment and sustainable development in regard to children’s rights.