Demand for palm oil creates human rights issue

By Julie Inglese
Palm oil mill by Marufish, on Flickr


While high demand for palm oil in Africa and Southeast Asia is widely known for being a large environmental concern, Voice of America (VOA) reports that there also is an underlying human rights issue that is being neglected. 

VOA spoke with Norman Jiwan, the executive director of Transformation for Justice Indonesia and the co-editor of a new report on the issue. Jiwan told VOA that the expansion of the palm oil industry in Indonesia "has created serious land conflict because of the land grabbing" from indigenous peoples without consent. This in turn is threatening the food supply of some communities.

The same issues have emerged in Africa and advocates are working with palm oil companies in hopes of settling land disputes.