UNDP advocates responsible business practices

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(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Indonesian business actors have been urged to review their value chain and respect the value of human rights in operating businesses, as stated in United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) that urged companies to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD).

The call was made today during a high-level dialogue organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the practical application of the UNGPs, with a focus on Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD). The European Union (EU) and the Government of Sweden support an event entitled “Preparing for Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals”.

The UN Guiding Principles define the shared responsibility between government and business actors to ensure human rights are protected and respected in business operations. The UNGPs advocate for the adoption of practices that ensure an inclusive approach to human rights practice, and ensure that no one is left behind.

This event complements the Government of Indonesia’s efforts in formulating the first draft of the National Strategy for Business and Human Rights. “Businesses must take the first step towards developing sound policies that respect the human rights

of all individuals involved in their business, from suppliers to final retailers. Every individual throughout the business and operational processes must be treated fairly and without abuse of any kind,” said Marina Berg, Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia.

“Sweden has been promoting sustainable human rights practices in the private sector, and we are pleased to partner with UNDP to work with Indonesia to promote due diligence and advocate for responsible business practices,” she added.

The European Union has pushed for the adoption of HRDD measures with strong policies in place in the Netherlands, France, and Germany which all now mandate laws on child labor and other measures on due diligence in the supply chain.

“The implementation of HRDD must be started as early as possible from the very beginning of the company, so it can help companies demonstrate that they have taken the right steps to protect the human rights of those involved in their business activities,” said Mualimin Abdi, Director General of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

“The UN Guiding Principles call on business actors to respect human rights and require them to carry out due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for impacts on human rights. This guideline aims to

ensure that no minors are forced to work hard and that no women and men lose their dignity in doing their jobs,” said Norimasa Shimomura, Resident Representative of UNDP Indonesia in his remarks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to revisit our approach. A key element of this process is reinventing how to do business in a way that is more in line with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST), which advocates for human rights standards, said that the private sector in Indonesia must start embracing human rights in business.

“Ensuring that human rights are respected throughout company operations is an ongoing process and we hope that by working with governments, the private sector, and the international community, we can strengthen the role and responsibility of companies to respect human rights. Our main goal is to ensure that respect for human rights in the private sector grows into the norm in Indonesia,” he said.

Other countries in Asia are also in the process of developing policy frameworks to implement the UNGPs, including Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and India.