High Risk Zones

Seema Joshi and Meghna Abraham on Palm Oil

Podcast, 30 November 2016

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Amnesty International today published a report, The Great Palm Oil Scandal: Labour abuses behind big brand names, on the conditions in which workers, including women and children, work at oil palm plantations in North Sumatra and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The report outlines instances of human rights abuses, including possible violations of Indonesian labour laws and deviation from international standards, by Wilmar International and three of its suppliers. The report raises concerns with leading multinationals who buy palm oil from Indonesian plantations and calls upon consumers to demand greater transparency to ensure an end to the abuses.

IHRB's Salil Tripathi spoke to Amnesty International's Seema Joshi and Meghna Abraham, who have worked on the report. Seema and Meghna outline the report's main findings and raise concerns about what consumers, companies, and the international community should do.

Seema Joshi heads Amnesty International's business and human rights programme at the organisation's international secretariat. She has been legal advisor at Global Witness, where she investigated cases and pushed for stronger legal accountability of companies that commit criminal acts. She has also been closely involved with a project with other organisations, including the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) to develop corporate crime principles. A lawyer by training, Seema was called at the Alberta Bar in Canada, Seema was educated in Canada and at the London School of Economics.

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 5.68 MB - Duration: 11:58 m (66 kbps 44100 Hz)

Meghna Abraham heads Amnesty International's economic, social, and cultural rights team and is senior investigator on corporate crimes at the organisation. Educated in India and at Oxford, she has conducted research in Brazil, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, and Slovenia. She has worked at the International Service for Human Rights, the Centre on the Housing Rights and Evictions, and the World Organisation Against Torture.

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 5.75 MB - Duration: 12:24 m (65 kbps 44100 Hz)

Latest IHRB Publications

The Start of Modern Corporate Accountability Efforts - In Memory of Joel Filártiga

It is an unfortunate reality that when human rights defenders speak against their governments, they place themselves at risk of harm. Still, some choose to speak, and in doing so they change the course of history.

Dr Joel Filártiga was one such...

25 July 2019

Human Rights and the Built Environment - A Call for Action

Two-thirds of humanity are projected to live in urban areas by 2050. If we are to make progress in reducing global inequality and in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a rights-based approach to the built environment is critical. 

IHRB...

Rights and Wrongs - Where Does the Buck Stop?

Last week, Bank of America announced that it would no longer lend to companies that run the controversial centres where the United States Government is detaining refugees and migrants who have entered the country without proper documentation  (such...