Palm oil

Landscape image of greenery, river, mountain
© UNICEF/UNI97015

Growing global demand for palm oil has contributed to its emergency as the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world. Palm oil is used in an estimated 50 per cent of all consumer goods used around the world on a daily basis.

Palm oil is considered to be an important generator of economic growth. At the same time, the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations and the transformation of local economies has been associated with significant adverse social and environmental costs. While efforts have been invested in recent years to improve the environmental consequences of palm oil, social impacts on workers and communities have often received less attention. For example, significant challenges exist in relation to child labour, conditions for working parents and impacts that affect children in the community context where workers live.

As part of the roll-out of the Children's Rights and Business Principles (CRBP), in 2016 UNICEF Indonesia launched a programme that brings together palm oil producers, international brands, industry initiatives and government partners to strengthen existing regulations and develop models of good practice that can be replicated throughout the sector.