Palm Oil and children in Indonesia

Exploring the sector's impact on children's rights

Children walking to daycare
UNICEFIndonesia/2018/FauzanIjazah

About

Oil palm cultivation has been an important generator of economic growth in Indonesia in recent years, contributing to a reduction of poverty. However, the industry has also been associated with a number of adverse social and environmental impacts. Children are affected in multiple ways by the palm oil sector – as dependents of workers, members of the community, and at times as workers themselves.

Child labour has long been a recognised concern in the industry. However, the impact of the sector on children extends beyond child labour. For instance, limited maternity protections, low breastfeeding rates, lack of childcare opportunities, poor maternal health and nutrition, and difficult access to education for worker’s children may have significant impacts on the health and development of children in palm oil communities.

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