The Price of Indonesia’s Palm Oil: Vulnerable and Exploited Women Workers

In 2016, the Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PANAP) collaborated with a local organisation for a preliminary investigation on the working conditions of women labourers in North Sumatra’s oil palm industry, using the Community-based Pesticide Action Monitoring (CPAM) process. This report contains the key findings, which found that Indonesia’s expanding palm oil industry comes with a cost – women workers who are vulnerable to serious labour and human rights violations.

Date Published:
April 28, 2017

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PAN Philippines’ Position on the Inclusion of the Listed Pesticides and Chemicals in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention

The Pesticide Action Network Philippines fully support the move to include the listed pesticides and chemicals below in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention (RC), and thus, strongly encourage the Philippine delegation to the RC Conference of Parties (COP) to adopt the same stance.

With the inclusion in RC Annex III, all the above will then be subject to a procedure whereby an informed decision of a country would be needed before consenting or not to future importation of the substance.

The five pesticides (fenthion SHPF, trichlorfon, paraquat SHPF, carbofuran and carbosulfan) and the three chemicals (chrysotile asbestos, tributyltin compounds and short-chain chlorinated paraffins) meet the requirements of the RC and inclusion in Annex III should proceed.

As per the PANAP RC COP brief shows, fenthion and paraquat have been found to cause human health problems to the applicators under conditions of use in developing countries  like  Chad  and  Burkina  Faso,  respectively.  The  acute  and  chronic  effects  of paraquat are also observed in the oil palm plantations in Mindanao, Philippines  as per findings of PANAP and its local partners.

Trichlorfon, carbofuran, and carbosulfan pose risks to human health and the environment based on the information provided by several countries mostly from Europe and Africa. Carbofuran, used in banana and oil palm plantations in Mindanao is specifically classified as highly toxic to bees. Carbosulfan has hazardous, potentially genotoxic metabolites. One of its carcinogenic impurities (N-nitrosodibutylamine) was found in the active substance as sold on the market (technical material) at levels raising concerns.

Tributyltin compounds are biocides that have been used to prevent fouling of boats, to preserve wood, kill molluscs, and for other purposes. Their use in boat paints has been banned in many nations due to observed effects on the marine biota, specifically on oysters and snails. The continuous use for purposes other than as antifouling paint poses risk due to their relative persistence, their tendency to bioaccumulate, and their toxicity.

The SSCPs are used as components of lubricants and coolants in the metal industry and is utilized both as plasticizer and a flame retardant in plastics, especially in polyvinyl chloride. As the US EPA (2009) report stated “SSCPs are found world-wide in the environment, wildlife and  humans.  They  are  bioaccumulative  in  wildlife  and  humans,  are  persistent  and transported globally in the environment, and toxic to aquatic organisms at low concentrations.”

Fenthion, trichlorfon, tributyltin compounds, paraquat dichloride together with paraffin oils are considered by PAN as highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs). They could be carcinogenic, mutagenic, with reproductive toxicity, are endocrine disruptors, eco-toxic, or with inhalation toxicity.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) established that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for all types of asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos, used as cement  building  material,  component  of  friction  materials  and  textiles  can  cause  lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, as well as cancer of the larynx and ovary. Banned in more than 50 countries, its use has alarmingly increased in the Asia-Pacific region.

References

PANAP. 2017.  Community Pesticide Action Monitoring in Mindanao, Philippines. (To be launched on 28 April 2017 on the occasion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work at the PANAP website).

PAN International. 2015. List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides. http://www.pan- germany.org/download/PAN_HHP_List_150602_F.pdf

Sekizawa   J,   Suter   G   II,   Birnbaum   L.   (nd).   Tributyltin   and   triphenyltin   compounds.

http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/en/ch_3c.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) and Other  Chlorinated  Paraffins   Action  Plan.  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/sccps_ap_2009_1230_final.pdf

UNEP/FAO/RC/CRC.12/3/Rev.1.         Rationale for the conclusion by the Chemical Review Committee  that  the  notifications  of  final  regulatory  action  submitted  by  the  European Union, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, the Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo in respect  of  carbosulfan  meet  the  criteria  of  Annex  III  to  the  Rotterdam  Convention. http://www.pic.int/TheConvention/Chemicals/Recommendedforlisting/Carbosulfan/tabid/5393/lan guage/en-US/Default.aspx

WHO. 2014. Chrysotile Asbestos. Geneva, Switzerland. 44pp. http://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/chrysotile_asbestos_summary.pdf

Pesticides and Agroecology in the Occupied West Bank

This is the second of a two-part report on the the key findings and conclusions of a joint fact-finding mission by PANAP and APN in May 2016 in the Occupied West Bank on the human rights implications of the Israeli illegal production, trade and dumping of pesticides. This report explains how human rights violations and threats to Palestinian food sovereignty are perpetrated in the context of the Israeli military border control and illegal occupation, in which Palestinian agriculture is embedded.

Date Published:
February 20, 2017

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To access the first part of this report, please click here.

Human Rights and Toxic Chemicals in the Occupied West Bank (Palestine)

This is the first of a two-part report on the the key findings and conclusions of a joint fact-finding mission by PANAP and APN in May 2016 in the Occupied West Bank on the human rights implications of the Israeli illegal production, trade and dumping of pesticides. This report highlights the five human rights abuses perpetrated against Palestinians resulting from Israeli illegal pesticide activities and the culpability of the Israeli state and agrochemical corporations.

Date Published:
February 20, 2017

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To access the second part of this report, please click here.

Global Governance of Hazardous Pesticides to Protect Children: Beyond 2020

This paper outlines PAN Asia Pacific’s concern about the impact of hazardous pesticides on children, and the need for greatly improved global governance of pesticides post 2020, to protect the rights of children and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 during the 1st meeting of the intersessional process, Brasilia, Brazil, 7 to 9 February 2017.

Date Published:
February 2, 2017

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Land & Rights Watch (LR Watch)

Land & Rights Watch (LR Watch) is an initiative of PANAP and our partners and networks under the No Land, No Life! Campaign to closely monitor and expose human rights abuses against communities opposing land and resource grabbing.

PANAP culls the data and information from online news and articles and reports from our partners and networks. Because of this limitation, the LR Watch does not claim to represent the true global extent of human rights violations that are related to land and resource grabbing and similar conflicts in the rural areas.

However, the compiled data through the LR Watch help provide a glimpse of the alarming state of human rights confronted by indigenous peoples, farmers, farmworkers and others in the rural communities around the world that are defending their right to land and resources.

If you have corrections and/or clarifications about our data, or if you want to share a case in your country that has not been reflected our monitoring, please contact us at nolandnolife@panap.net.

Download the Summary and Details here (Excel Workbook file, *.xlsx).

Download the Data Breakdown by Country here (Excel Workbook file, *.xlsx).

Download the Infographic here (JPEG File).

Community Pesticide Action Monitoring in Mindanao, Philippines

A field study to document the use of pesticides in Mindanao and its health impacts using the Community-based Pesticide Action Monitoring (CPAM) process was conducted from 2015 to 2016. A total of 57 plantation workers from banana and oil palm plantations and residents from surrounding villages were interviewed. The report discloses the workers’ lack of safety training in handling pesticides, the lack of facilities and personal protective equipment, and the prevalence of pesticide-related illnesses among workers and their households. Plantation workers and surrounding communities are also exposed to aerial spraying.

Date Published:
January 1, 2017

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Stop land grabbing in Sukamulya Village for international airport development

Short Description:

Berita Kaum Tani, Official publication of Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) Sukumulya village is a 700 hectare fertile village with rich natural resources with a population around 5,500 people. The looming construction of the West Java International Airport (WJIA) poses a clear threat of eviction of the farming community and the destruction of natural resources.

Date Published:
December 21, 2016

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Land & Rights Watch (LR Watch)

Last Update, 28 April 2017

Land & Rights Watch (LR Watch) is an initiative of PANAP and our partners and networks under the No Land, No Life! Campaign to closely monitor and expose human rights abuses against communities opposing land and resource grabbing.

PANAP culls the data and information from online news and articles and reports from our partners and networks. Because of this limitation, the LR Watch does not claim to represent the true global extent of human rights violations that are related to land and resource grabbing and similar conflicts in the rural areas.

However, the compiled data through the LR Watch help provide a glimpse of the alarming state of human rights confronted by indigenous peoples, farmers, farmworkers and others in the rural communities around the world that are defending their right to land and resources.

If you have corrections and/or clarifications about our data, or if you want to share a case in your country that has not been reflected our monitoring, please contact us at nolandnolife@panap.net.

Download the Summary and Details here (Excel Workbook file, *.xlsx).

Download the Data Breakdown by Country here (Excel Workbook file, *.xlsx).

Download the Infographic here (JPEG File).