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Human rights guidelines for businesses

Graphic: Indonesia

The National Commission for Human Rights is preparing guidelines to support business practices that better promote and protect human rights.

The National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) is preparing guidelines to support business practices that better promote and protect human rights, the Jakarta Post reported.

Commissioner Nur Kholis said Komnas HAM was developing the guidelines, called the National Action Plan on Human Rights, after receiving numerous reports on human rights abuses by business groups across the country.

"The state is not the only culprit in human rights violations, companies can also share the blame," Nur Kholis told reporters at a press conference.

He said the guidelines sought to prevent future human rights violations and would be binding on all companies operating in Indonesia.

"The action plan is being prepared to make companies responsible for the negative impacts resulting from their operations. So far, only the state has been held responsible for human rights abuses. We want companies to take responsibility too," Nur Kholis said.

He said there were currently few laws that regulated the human rights impacts of business, which led to widespread abuse.

In 2012, Komnas HAM received 1,009 complaints of human rights abuses committed by companies, second only to the complaints against the police.

"The negative impacts will continue if we don't regulate business behaviour," Nur Kholis said.

After finishing the action plan, Komnas HAM will hold talks with the Law and Human Rights, Home, State-owned Enterprises and Manpower and Transmigration ministries to discuss ways to implement the plan.

When the guidelines are put into effect, companies would be required to protect the environment, to provide appropriate work conditions for employees, and to preserve local customs and traditions in operational areas, Nur Kholis said.

Date: 20 June 2015

Source: Jakarta Post

Image credits

  1. Indonesia - Henri Ismail, Flickr Creative Commons