Adhering to defending human rights in business activities needs a sustainable and mutual partnership among all stakeholders and rightholders.
Businesses can improve their human rights aspect fulfillment within their business operations by promoting and implementing UNGPs in all company's employee. Furthermore, public awareness about the business and human rights issues must be maintained to ensure that business leaders are implementing actions to defend human rights. It is obligatory for stakeholders of all levels to discuss the ways to do it. As stated by Mugiyanto, Senior Program Officer for Human Rights & Democracy, International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), that it needs collaboration to increase the awareness as what have been done by UNGPs with officials on local levels.
In the meantime, alignment between business, government, and the society is required to ensure businesses are conducting properly and not violate the rights of the employees and the people around it. For Anugraha Dezmercoledi, Co-Chair Business & Human Rights Working Group (B&HRWG), Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) & Senior Program Manager, Rajawali Foundation, with hundreds of millions of people working in the global industry, there are many existing problems that may only be solved only by human rights approach. He thinks that the government holds the key to ensure the regulations and justice are uphold.
Rafendi Djamin, Senior Advisor for Human Rights, HRWG Indonesia & Former Representative of Indonesia, AICHR stated “Forum guided by UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights now has expanded the issues such as human rights defenders and civic space, gender lens to the Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and the thematic program upon request of UN Human Rights Council to look at Business & Human Rights in the context of implementation of 2030 agenda of SDG's”.
Dr. Mualimin Abdi, S.H., M.H., Director General for Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Human Rights explained how the UNGPs are helping the issue to be widely known – helpful for the Indonesian government to ensure that businesses are adhering to the regulations. Efforts by the Indonesian government resulted in companies conducting corporate social responsibility as a goodwill act to help the society.
However, people have to know that human rights is an issue that must be handled by people in all industry, not only on manufacturers and producers. According to Indira Abidin, Chief Happiness Officer (CHO), PT. Fortune Indonesia, Tbk., even the service industry needs to ensure they are defending the human rights of the employees, because it is not only about business sustainability, but also the human sustainability.
Conclusion: Partnering with everyone to keep the spirit of defending human rights in business alive is a way that must not be overlooked. But the most important is how to maintain the multi-stakeholders initiative and action as human rights fulfillment is not only handled by business sectors, but government, CSOs and academic institutions also have the responsibility and play a strategic role on it.
This quarterly multi-stakeholders dialogue was part of jointly program funded by European Union (EU) organized by IGCN, in collaboration with Oxfam GB Indonesia and International NGOs Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID). It was succeed attended by 89 participants from multi-stakeholders such as government, business, CSOs, and academia.
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