KUALA LUMPUR, 4 June 2021 - Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) has appointed Australian Human Rights lawyer Professor Justine Nolan to its Expert Stakeholder Human Rights Assessment Commission (the Commission). The Commission, established in March 2021 comprises ethical trade consultancy Impactt Ltd, and a Stakeholder Consultation Panel, which includes Professor Nolan, migrant worker rights activist and human rights researcher Mr Andy Hall, and the National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW), the largest trade union for plantation workers in Malaysia.
Professor 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. Prior to joining UNSW in 2004, she worked 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 (FLA).
Professor 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. Some of the other appointments include the Australian Government's Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group on Business and Human Rights in 2017; the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade & Ausaid's Human Rights Grants Scheme Expert Panel from 2009 to 2013.
Professor Nolan is a member of the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal. Her 2019 co-authored book “Addressing Modern Slavery” examines how consumers, businesses and governments are part of the problem and the solution in curbing modern slavery in global supply chains. In 2019 she was named 'Academic of the Year' at the Australian Law Awards.
Professor Nolan holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California and obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the Australian National University in 1991.
“Professor Nolan’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of modern slavery, business and human rights, international human rights law, CSR and corporate ethics are invaluable resources to SDP as we navigate through some of the current issues”, said SDP’s Group Managing Director, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha.
Professor Nolan was appointed on 31 May 2021 and replaces Shift on the Stakeholder Consultation Panel. Together with the other members of the Commission, Professor Nolan 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.
SDP expects Impactt’s comprehensive evaluation of its labour practices across Malaysia, using the International Labour Organization’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 has 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.