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Independent assessment clears FGV of human trafficking claims

An independent verifier, Wild Asia, confirmed today that no human trafficking cases were found on Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plantations in Jempol, Negri Sembilan, as alleged in a news report in July 2015.

In a statement today, FGV said Wild Asia had noted in its report: “Our worker interviews did not identify ‘human trafficked’ cases (as described in media reports) nor can we conclude that ‘forced labour’ (as defined by SA8000) is prevalent.”

SA8000 standards is a social certification standards for decent workplaces based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions of the International Labour Organisation which protect the basic human rights of workers.

The allegations which surfaced in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in July 2015 were met with immediate action at FGV, which considered it a grave blow to its commitment to equitable treatment and transparency.

The steps FGV immediately took to determine the veracity of cases cited in the report included reaching out to the WSJ for information that would assist in investigations.

President and chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said the FGV Group had an above-board policy on the hiring of foreign workers.

“The group also had zero tolerance towards any form of harassment or abuse.

“We would like to reiterate the fact that our employment procedures and policies are guided by Malaysian laws and the relevant requirements from our workers’ countries of origin.

“As a fair and equitable employer, all foreign workers employed by FGV are accorded the same rights and privileges as Malaysians,” he added.

Mohd Emir said FGV was committed to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Principles and Criteria and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standards.

FGV directly employs 24,674 foreign workers legally and in full observance of regulatory requirements.

- Bernama

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