The strategy pays attention to gender equality, which is very relevant in a context where women’s and girls’ rights are not well respected. The partners make sure that women are included (at least 30%) in capacity building activities. Awareness raising on gender, the importance of women’s rights, and specific labor rights issues for women (such as equal wages) are part of the training. Companies are motivated to initiate and support gender committees at plantation level.
To create a strong evidence base for the program, the Alliance, with SOMO Netherlands, did research on respect of labor rights in the palm oil sector, resulting in the report ‘Palming Off Responsibility’ (2017). This research revealed that two ‘Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’ (RSPO) certified palm oil companies structurally violate the labor rights of their workers. In both cases, workers are forced to work unpaid overtime in order to reach unrealistic production targets (6)
This research was followed by another research trajectory in 2019 on labor conditions in palm oil carried out by INKRISPENA, supervised by local partners Hukatan and Gapki. This resulted in the report ‘Palming Off Responsibility and Female Workers in Palm Oil’ (7). The clear conclusion of this report was that the rights of female workers in Lampung province are violated by companies. The outcomes of both reports are being used in dialogue with palm oil companies and the government, to work towards better conditions.
In line with the overall program, Civic Engagement Alliance Indonesia implemented two types of intervention strategies:
- Capacity building for lobby and advocacy, fully adjusted to the Indonesian situation.
- Lobby and advocacy interventions.
The main approach for lobby and advocacy in Indonesia is dialogue through multi-stakeholder platforms with government and private sector actors. These dialogues take place at different levels, ranging from community and village level to International level (EU, ILO). Lobby activities in Indonesia are linked to lobby activities in the Netherlands and the EU.
(6) See further report in https://www.somo.nl/palming-off-responsibility.
(7) Draft version