Innospec Inc. is proud to announce that its Performance Chemicals Business has entered into a social partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a global non-profit organization working with local authorities in 33 communities to combat modern slavery and violence against women, rescuing and restoring victims, holding perpetrators accountable, and strengthening the local public justice systems to build a safe future that lasts. 

The Issue

Approximately 50 million people worldwide are living in modern slavery, with the largest proportion represented in the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia has been identified as a major source and destination for Trafficking In Persons (TIP), with 1.5 million child labourers in the agricultural sector alone. The palm oil industry, particularly in Northern Kalimantan, is a hotspot for forced labour due to its remote locations and limited access.

Creating Lasting Change

Innospec Performance Chemicals has partnered with IJM to combat this issue and strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders in protecting Indonesian workers. The partnership aims to increase the reliance of vulnerable Indonesian workers on government systems for protection. The proposed interventions include education and sensitization campaigns, training for law enforcement and government officials, and capacity-building for palm oil plantation labour unions in Northern Kalimantan. Additionally, the partnership will ensure the provision of trauma-informed survivor services for those who have experienced forced labour and labour trafficking in the palm oil sector.

Innospec’s Commitment to Sustainable Palm

As members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2013 and Action for Sustainable Derivatives (ASD) since 2020, Innospec has had a long-term commitment to source palm-based raw materials responsibly. Aligning to IJM’s mission will help Innospec’s Performance Chemicals business to enhance this commitment, and ensure our products comply with the company’s NDPE (no Deforestation, no Peat, no Exploitation) policy.

Bruce McDonald, President Performance Chemicals, Innospec

‘As a global chemical specialty company, that uses palm based raw materials in some of our products, we recognise the important role we must play in driving the protection of workers in the palm oil industry. This is why we are excited to support IJM’s mission in combatting modern slavery through the prevention of worker exploitation. We are passionate about IJM’s work to create systemic change by strengthening justice systems and are excited about the positive impact we can bring about in the palm oil industry through this partnership.’

Andrey Sawchenko, Regional Vice President, Forced Labor Programs

‘Palm oil is used widely in personal care and household products such as shampoos, shower gels and detergents. Consumers, enjoying the benefit of these items, are likely not aware that forced labor slavery is a real possibility for some workers in this industry. This reality makes the partnership between Innospec Performance Chemicals and IJM – who share a common goal of combating instances of this illegality within the palm industry – an urgent and critical collaboration. Our partnership provides some of the crucial resources needed to strengthen worker access to remedy if needed, and boosts collaboration with local authorities to protect workers long term.’

A Fairer Future

The partnership was formed out of Innospec’s commitment to sustainability and responsible procurement, and IJM’s proven track record in combating human trafficking and forced labour, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. By addressing the root causes of modern slavery and empowering key stakeholders, the partnership will strengthen protection for palm oil workers in Indonesia and represents a significant step in the fight against forced labour.