Jakarta, 19 February 2021 — The corporate world in Indonesia is called to re-examine their value chains and honour human rights values in business operations, as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which calls on companies to undertake Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD).
The call was made today during a high-level dialogue hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the practical applications of the UNGPs, with a focus on the Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD). The European Union (EU) and the Government of Sweden supported the event, entitled “Preparing for Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals”.
The UN Guiding Principles articulate the shared responsibility of government and business to ensure human rights in business operations are protected and respected. It advocates for the adoption of practices that ensure an inclusive, “whole of society” approach to human rights practices, and ensuring we leave no one behind.
Friday’s event complements the Government of Indonesia’s efforts in formulating the country’s first draft of National Strategy on Business and Human Rights.
“It is imperative that corporations take the first step to draft sound policies which respect the human rights of all individuals involved in their businesses, from suppliers to end retailers. Every individual throughout the business and operational process must be treated fairly and without abuse of any kind” said Ms. Marina Berg, Ambassador of Sweden to Indonesia.
“Sweden has promoted sustainable human rights practices in the private sector, and we are delighted to partner with UNDP to work with Indonesia on encouraging due diligence and advocating for responsible business practices,” she added.
The European Union has encouraged adopting HRDD measures with robust policies being undertaken in the Netherlands, France and Germany all of whom now mandate laws on child labor and other measures on due diligence on supply chains.
“The implementation of human rights due diligence should start as early as possible from the inception of the company. Conducting human rights due diligence can help the company to demonstrate that it has taken appropriate steps to protect the human rights of those involved in its business activities,” said Mr. Mualimin Abdi, Director General, Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
“The UN Guiding Principles call for businesses to respect human rights, and require that they exercise due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address the impact on human rights. These guidelines aim to ensure that no child is forced into hard labor; no woman and man ever loses their dignity in performing their manual work,” said Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, Resident Representative of UNDP Indonesia in his opening remarks.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to rethink our interactions. A key element to this process is to reinvent how we conduct business in a manner that better aligns with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
Mr. Marzuki Darusman, chairperson of The Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST), which advocates for the promotion of human rights standards across the board said that the private sector in Indonesia should start embracing human rights in business as the new norm.
“Ensuring that human rights are respected across company operations is an ongoing process and we hope that by working with the government, private sector and the international community, we can reinforce the roles and responsibilities of corporations to respect human rights. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that respect for human rights in the private sector grows to become the norm here in Indonesia,” said Mr. Darusman.
Other countries in Asia are also in the process of developing policy frameworks to implement the UNGPs, including Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Viet Nam and India.
UNDP Indonesia Communication Specialist Tomi Soetjipto, email@example.com.
UNDP Indonesia Business and Human Rights Specialist, Sagita Adesywi, firstname.lastname@example.org.