Jakarta, 19 October 2012 — The Human Rights Resource Centre for ASEAN (HRRC) organised a one-day expert consultation meeting on “Business and Human Rights in ASEAN” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jakarta on Friday, 19 October 2012 from 09:00 until 17:00. The meeting was a venue for international and regional experts along with representatives from government bodies, academicians and civil society organizations in ASEAN to hear about the findings and to provide inputs or recommendations to the study before the final result is published in February 2013. The completed study itself will include a consolidated analysis of the key findings and identified trends, as well as provide recommendations on policy and practice changes that can be instituted by ASEAN member states and AICHR.
H.E I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, the Director General for ASEAN Cooperation from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs who opened the meeting felt “encouraged that the Human Rights Resource Center (HRRC) is currently conducting a study on business and human rights in ASEAN and believe that this study would help ASEAN in articulating its human rights norms and values particularly with regard to business and human rights.” The advisor of HRRC study Prof. Dr. Christine Kaufmann from the University of Zurich Competence Center for Human Rights explained “that by choosing to focus on the first pillar of the Ruggie Framework, the baseline study covers not only human rights issues but also all the legal landscape which includes corporate law, environmental law, etc and could go in-depth compare to other studies that are already available today”.
The advisor and team leader, Ms. Delphia Lim, an Associate Fellow in Asian Peace-Building & Rule Of Law Program at Singapore Management University were engaged in interactive discussion with the participants. Participants include Commissioner James Nayagam of Malaysia’s Human Rights Commision (SUHAKAM) and representatives of Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights, Australian Human Rights Centre of University of New South Wales, the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry on Economic Affairs and Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, International Labor Organization (Indonesia office), Earth Rights International, Raoul Wallenberg Institution (Bangkok office), Cambodian Legal Education Community, USAID (Indonesia mission), the embassies of Switzerland, Norway, and US in Indonesia, The Habibie Center, ELSAM (Indonesian human rights civil society organization) and HRRC afiliated insitution, University Islam Indonesia. H.E Bagas Hapsoro the Deputy of ASEAN Secretary General on Community and Corporate Affairs along with H.E. Makarim Wibisono, the Executive Director from The ASEAN Foundation were also in attendance.
Although the business community were underrepresented at the meeting, a different approach will be taken to involve them to get their take on the study. The Centre also sent out the study to the experts in UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, the OECD, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, the Shift Project.
The research team for this third baseline study consists of 9 rapporteurs from 9 ASEAN member states and 5 research assistants who extensively discuss the key concerns regarding the Adverse Business-Related Human Rights Impacts, Common Ground between ASEAN Approaches and the UN Business and Human Rights Agenda as well actions by ASEAN states in Respect of the Policy Domains Identified in the Guiding Principles.
HRRC welcomes any inputs and recommendations for the study which can be conveyed via email to: Ms. Rully Sandra, Programme Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). The email should be received no later than 09 November, 2012.