abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

The content is also available in the following languages: 简体中文, 繁體中文


3 Mar 2023

Resty Woro Yuniar, South China Morning Post

Indonesia’s nickel sector under scrutiny as Chinese workers allege inhumane working conditions, incl. company statement

Indonesia’s decision to partner China to realise its ambition in growing its nickel-refining sector is under scrutiny after three Chinese workers filed a rights complaint over their alleged inhumane working conditions in the nickel-mining hub on the island of Sulawesi.

Jakarta-based AMAR Law Firm & Public Interest Law Office is representing the unnamed workers, who had “experienced a lot of suffering in physical, psychological, financial, and their dignity as human beings while working in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP)”.

One of the workers put up with the poor conditions for six months before finally quitting over declining health, the law firm said in a statement. [...]

“Many investments by Chinese companies do not pay attention to workers’ rights and environmental and human rights impacts, this kind of culture can be found in [their companies in] Indonesia.”

As of February 11, there were 70,758 Indonesian workers and 10,690 foreign workers, largely Chinese, at IMIP. [...] “We hope that the National Commission on Human Rights will monitor and launch an in-depth investigation regarding human rights violations and others at IMIP,” Airlangga said. “We also hope that they can provide recommendations to several parties including the government to improve the situation, as their authority is still limited.”

Aside from lack of work safety, the health of both local and migrant workers also deteriorates due to heavy pollution around the mining facilities, said Aulia Hakim, an environmental activist with environmental NGO Walhi’s Central Sulawesi branch.[...] Aulia said he saw the filing of a complaint to Komnas HAM as “progressive” but was not entirely optimistic that it would lead to better working conditions in Morowali.

In a statement provided by spokesperson Dedi Kurniawan to This Week in Asia, IMIP said that one of claimants in the report to Komnas HAM “worked for a company that produces cathode precursors for EV batteries … in Konawe, not in the IMIP area. [...] When a labour rights violation occurs within the complex, IMIP said that “the responsibility for the incident is attached to the respective company where they work. The company also denied that they prioritised production over work safety.“Safety and health are the first priority.[...]”