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Palm Oil for the West, Exploitation for Young Workers in Malaysia

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Afterward we had coffee on the veranda of the great house that overlooked the sprawling, 8,000-hectacre property, the size of a small national park. Chok stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility like a mantra and said his company spends nearly $1 million every year to take care of migrant children. In the "competition" to retain experienced workers, Chok added that doing the right thing also made good business sense. (Singapore-based Wilmar has its critics, however. The Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based environmental group, alleges the company's security forces have used violence and heavy machinery against villagers in Indonesia's Sumatra province. Wilmar rejects the claims.)

The Atlantic
Jason Motlagh
Monday, April 8, 2013

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