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AP Investigation: Palm Oil Labor Abuse, Slavery & Rape Linked To World's Top Brands

A little girl carries a bucket of palm oil fruit she collected on a plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia


On this edition of Your Call, we rebroadcast our discussion of two recent AP investigations exposing widespread labor and human rights abuses, including rape, slavery, and child labor, in the palm oil industry, which is worth a whopping $65 billion. 

The investigation found that millions of men, women and children from some of the poorest corners of Asia are exploited and forced into working on palm oil plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia. Women workers make just $2 a day with no job protections or healthcare.

Palm oil is in food and personal care products from some of the world's largest brands, including L'Oreal, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate, which owns Tom's of Maine. What will it take to protect these workers and regulate this industry?


Margie Mason, Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter and Asia medical reporter for The Associated Press

Web Resources:

AP, Margie Mason and Robin McDowell: Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands

AP, Margie Mason and Robin McDowell: Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks

Amnesty International: Palm Oil: Global brands profiting from child and forced labour