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Sime Darby Plantation appoints human rights expert

04/06/2021 11:14 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 -- Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) has appointed Australian human rights lawyer, Prof Justine Nolan, to its Expert Stakeholder Human Rights Assessment Commission.

SDP said the commission, established in March 2021, comprises ethical trade consultancy Impactt Ltd, and a stakeholder consultation panel, which includes Nolan, migrant worker rights activist and human rights researcher Andy Hall, and the National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW), the largest trade union for plantation workers in Malaysia.

"Prof Nolan has over 20 years of experience in business and human rights. She teaches in the Faculty of Law and Justice at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, and is the director of the Australian Human Rights Institute," said the plantation group in a statement today. 

SDP said prior to joining UNSW in 2004, Nolan served as the director of the Business and Human Rights programme at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in the United States of America.

During this time, she advised both companies and civil society organisations on effective strategies to protect human rights in the corporate sphere and was closely involved in the establishment of the Fair Labor Association.

SDP said Nolan has been a key driver of the Australian business and human rights  movement and has held various expert advisory roles. 

In 2020, she was appointed to the Australian government’s Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group. 

SDP group managing director Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said Nolan’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of modern slavery, business and human rights, international human rights law, corporate social responsibility and corporate ethics are invaluable resources to SDP as the group navigates through some of the current issues.

SDP said Nolan was appointed on May 31, 2021.

"Together with the other members of the commission, she will be providing additional views on Impactt’s assessment methodology and lending further credibility to the entire process. 

"She will also assist in reviewing any proposed remediation plans recommended for implementation by Impactt," said SDP.

SDP expects Impactt’s comprehensive evaluation of its labour practices across Malaysia, using the International Labour Organisation’s 11 indicators of forced labour as a framework, to be completed in June 2021. 

The report will then be submitted to the stakeholder consultation panel for a detailed consideration, following which SDP, Impactt and the stakeholder consultation panel will agree on remediation plans. 

"SDP is committed to transparent disclosure of the commission’s findings, as well as any remediation measures required to ensure safe working and living conditions for all its workers, now and into the future," added the plantation group.






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