On 6 June 2011, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) were unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, of which Indonesia was a non-permanent member at the time. Since then, UNGP have become an internationally recognized standard on business and human rights for both countries and companies. Under the UNGP, states are obliged to afford protection from human rights violations committed by third parties, including companies, while companies have responsibilities to respect human rights, which means to avoid infringing on the rights of others and address adverse impacts with which they may have been involved.
As a form of commitment to encourage Indonesian companies to fulfill their responsibilities in respecting human rights, FIHRRST has begun a study to assess their understanding of the responsibility to respect human rights relating to their business activities. This study assesses 100 companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) that were included in the KOMPAS 100 index for the period February to July 2018.
As a prelude to the study, FIHRRST held a seminar on Human Rights Respect Rating Study in 100 Public Companies in Indonesia on 17 January 2019 at Sari Pacific Jakarta, to which were invited representatives of the 100 public companies, the financial services authority (OJK), government ministries and civil society organizations.
The Chair of FIHRRST, Marzuki Darusman explained that the study is being conducted to show the extent to which companies operating in Indonesia enforce human rights protection in their business activities.
"Implementing respect for human rights will be an advantage for the companies, as it will increase their competitiveness, both in national and international markets," he declared, going on to suggest that the continuous participation of the Indonesian delegation in UN forums related to business and human rights is indicative of the nation’s commitment to the overall advancement of business and human rights activities.
"It is hoped that Indonesia can pioneer the establishment of a national task force in an effort to accelerate the promotion of business and human rights in Indonesia," he suggested.
Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Ahmad Taufan Damanik added that the initiatives carried out by civil society organizations have often become the basis for opening up the promotion of business and human rights enforcement in Indonesia, stressing that the state must recognize the important role that civil society organizations play in promoting this issue. He also expressed hopes that the government can provide a wider role and responsibility for civil society organizations to carry out business and human rights mainstreaming.
Prabianto Mukti Wibowo, National Contact Point for Indonesian Business and Human Rights revealed, "There has been reasonable dissemination of the principles of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Indonesia, but it has not as yet had a marked effect on our business sector. Meanwhile, the development of human rights issues internationally has entered the global supply chain. Expectations therefore are that the results of this study can be adopted and implemented in the form of standard norms, both as a National Action Plan standard or compliance standards.”