NGO Global Witness has disclosed the extent of human rights abuses and rampant deforestation in Papua New Guinea by palm oil suppliers whose main clients are big European brands such as Kellogs and Nestle.
According to an investigation by Global Witness, Palm oil executives and senior employees of East New Britain Resources Group (ENB) bribed officials including a Papua New Guinean government minister and the police; used child labor; and were avoiding taxes.
Malaysian palm oil firm Rimbunan Hijau was also found to disregard the welfare and safety of its workers which resulted in the deaths of at least 11 workers.
The Palm oil manufacturers also reportedly destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of Papua New Guinean rainforest.
“This investigation shows they are being sold out by their own government and global financial institutions in favor of a small number of highly destructive companies, with devastating human rights and environmental consequences,” said Lela Stanley, senior investigator at Global Witness.
The clients of the oil manufacturers were identified as Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Colgate, Danone, and Hershey while being funded by Robeco and BlackRock.
“It is increasingly urgent that governments legislate to prevent supply chains and global financiers bankrolling deforestation and human rights abuses,” warned Global Witness.
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