• Understanding and Implementing Respect for Human Rights in a Business Context: A Conference for Business Leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia

    Jakarta, 6 November 2014—Today, a unique and timely conference will be held in Jakarta to explore the responsibilities of business regarding human rights – including good practices, innovations and challenges.
    Over 150 representatives from Indonesian private and state-owned enterprises, multinational companies, and civil society experts will convene to exchange experiences, share challenges, and suggest ways forward regarding human rights in a business context.
    The conference will be in plenary and small group discussion sessions and will explore:
    • Recent context and developments, including the value of international standards and the  UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
    • Business perspectives on what respect for human rights means in practice, including how companies get started, what the business case is, and how to integrate human rights into business operations
    • Issues and priorities for Indonesia and ASEAN from the perspective of civil society – including human rights challenges and common issues and impacts
    • Practices to address particular impacts including: core labour rights; impacts via business relationships, including supply chain, joint ventures and customers; and communities, indigenous peoples and security practices
    The objectives of the conference are to:
    • Convene a committed group of business representatives from Indonesia to discuss corporate action around the corporate responsibility to respect human rights
    • Demonstrate the business benefits of integrating respect for human rights into operations, products and services
    • Introduce the UN Guiding Principles, and tools and resources to assist businesses in their human rights journey
    • Explore common human rights challenges that businesses facearound the world
    • Share business experiences and approaches to implementing corporate respect for human rights in policies, processes and systems
    The conference is being convened by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), the Human Rights Resource Centre, Praxity Member Firms in Indonesia and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights.
    Contact: Praxity Indonesia - bahtiar.manurung@moores-rowland.comHuman Rights Resource Centre – info@hrrca.orgGlobal Business Initiative on Human Rights – katryn.wright@global-business-initiative.orgKamar Dagang dan Industri (Kadin)
  • HRRC, KADIN, MRI and GBI to Convene "Understanding and Implementing Respect for Human Rights in a Business Context"

    9 September, Jakarta—On the 6th of November 2014 in Jakarta, the Human Rights Resource Centre, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), Moores Rowland Indonesia (MRI) and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) are convening a conference for business leaders - Understanding and Implementing Respect for Human Rights in a Business Context
    This one-day conference will bring together business leaders to share good practices, innovations and challenges related to a rapidly developing area of corporate responsibility – human rights in a business context. The conference will benefit from experiences of Indonesian business, international companies, and ASEAN and global experts to discuss the relevance, challenges and practices in relation to human rights and business.
    The conference will recognize the leadership shown by Indonesian corporations, and identify areas for improvement in relation to social impacts and the application of international standards in policies, processes and practices. The conference is aimed to support business leaders from diverse industrial sectors and business functions, including legal, risk, business development, procurement, compliance, human resources, public policy, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Participation in the conference is by invitation only. 
    For more information and event registration, please view the event flyer.
  • HRRC, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and Moores Rowland Indonesia Launch Survey on “Promoting ‘Just Business’ to Business Enterprises in Indonesia and ASEAN”

    22 August 2014, Jakarta—The Human Rights Resource Centre (HRRC), Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and Moores Rowland Indonesia are pleased to announce that they are undertaking a series of research and awareness-raising activities aimed at understanding how business enterprises in the region are responding to human rights challenges. These activities will help businesses and other stakeholders in the region, particularly in Indonesia, understand both businesses' perspectives and initiatives in regards human rights. The overarching goal is to secure stronger commitment from the Indonesian business community and ASEAN governments toward implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGP), in order to ensure the mainstreaming of responsible business conduct in Indonesia and eventually, throughout ASEAN. The work being undertaken further compliments the HRRC’s work with other stakeholders on business and human rights, which can be accessed here.
    In this regard, the organisers today have launched a brief survey aimed at gathering information on businesses’ knowledge and uptake of the UNGP. The survey is designed for business executives and employees working within the ASEAN region, particularly in Indonesia. Respondents may answer in either English or Bahasa Indonesia and may respond anonymously.
    Data collected from this survey will be utilized in a research that would be presented and discussed in a series of meetings among business actors and policy-makers in Indonesia, as well as the ASEAN region, in November 2014. This research activity is funded by the British Embassy in Jakarta.
    Please click here to participate in our survey.
  • 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to Conclude Today in Bali, Indonesia

    15 August 2014, Bali—The Human Rights Resource Centre today prepares to conclude the 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Themed “Combatting Violence Against Women & Violence Against Children in Conflict Situations and Beyond,” the Summer Institute aims to provide an opportunity for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), academics, and human rights practitioners to come together to discuss the issue of preventing and prosecuting violence against women and violence against children.

    Globally, there has been a growing thrust to confront the issue of violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) in conflict. Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council continue to reiterate and refine the international community’s commitment and response to ensuring international standards are developed to combat violence against women and girls. Resolutions 1325 through 2122 provide a solid platform for establishing global norms on preventing violence and protecting women and girls in conflict situations, as well as ensuring their participation in peace-building processes.
    Regionally, ASEAN’s human rights bodies have been making progress in building a regional response to VAW and VAC. The AICHR has begun discussions to consider drafting a Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Violence Against Children in ASEAN. It is also completing a thematic study on the Right to Peace in ASEAN. Simultaneously, the ACWC undertook to draft a Declaration on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children in ASEAN, which includes a commitment by ASEAN Member States to strengthen partnerships with civil society and academia in the work of the elimination of violence against women and children in all its forms.
    Held from 13-15 August at the Sanur Plaza Hotel in Bali, this year’s Summer Institute is designed to create an exchange between the AICHR, the ACWC and civil society, by presenting current findings from studies issued on the topic, both in and outside of ASEAN, as well as “notes from the field” from key international actors. These findings shall form a basis for discussion about what might be the “next steps” for the AICHR and ACWC on preventing VAW and VAC.
    The meeting will culminate in a plan of action and proposed possible further collaboration to help ensure that:  (i) researchers’ findings are properly communicated to the AICHR and ACWC; (ii) AICHR and the ACWC have a say in the policy-relevance of the work undertaken by the researchers, perhaps leading to more useful studies being produced; and (iii) both remain informed of ongoing practices in the field and challenges “on the ground.”

    I Dewa Putu Eka Wijaya Wardana, SH, MH, the Deputy Governor of Bali, officially commenced the Summer Institute with an opening address. The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Zainab Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, via video conference. The HRRC had invited Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of the Worldwide Support for Development, to also give a keynote address;  unfortunately, his commitments would not allow him to come. Please download the Programme to view the roster of faculty and the topics covered during the event.

    The Summer Institute is hosted by the Human Rights Resource Centre in partnership with the Udayana University, the East-West Center, and WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at the Stanford University. This event is made possible through the generous support of the United States Government and the British Embassy in Jakarta.
  • The HRRC and Udayana University Host Studium Generale on Gender-Based Violence

    12 August 2014, Bali—The Human Rights Resource Centre and the Udayana University this afternoon commenced the 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights with a side event at the campus of Udayana University. The Studium Generale, entitled Local wisdom, global justice: rethinking gender-based violence in the context of war and beyond,” acknowledges the 50th year anniversary of the Faculty of Law of Udayana University and is centred around the jubilee’s theme: “Local Wisdom and Global Justice.”
    The Studium Generale aims to draw attention to sexual violence in situations of armed conflict—not only those committed against girls and women, but also those inflicted on boys and men. Gender-based violence has become a term commonly associated with violence against girls and women, with discussions tending to ignore increasing evidence that violence against boys and men is prevalent both during and after periods of conflict. There has been comparatively little discussion and analysis of sexual violence perpetrated against men and boys. Local understandings of these crimes can contribute important knowledge and understanding to the international human rights system, by bringing to light the importance of including men and boys’ experiences of sexual violence in ensuring accountability for gross violations of human rights. At the same time, understanding sexual violence in its historical context can shed light on why traditional emphasis has been placed on ensuring women are included in any discussion about gender.

    Professor Harkristuti Harkrisnowo of the Faculty of Law of the University of Indonesia and Director-General of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights delivered the keynote address. 

    Ms. Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb, member of the first UN Women Protection Adviser (WPA) team of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan; Dr. Sandesh Sivarkumaran, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham; and Mr. Alastair Hilton, Technical Advisor for First Step Cambodia were invited to share their expertise on the issue of sexual violence. Drawing from experiences from Uganda, Latin America, East Timor and Cambodia, the Studium Generale considered the impact of gender-based violence on the community and the responses to address this issue so far. The panel also touched on the challenges faced by social workers providing services to victims and their supporters, as well as those confronting practitioners who are engaged in preventing and prosecuting gender-based violence.
    The 7th Summer Institute, to be held from 12-15 August 2015, is supported by the United States Government and the British Embassy in Jakarta. The talk at the Udayana University was attended by students, representatives of business associations, social workers, and government officials dealing with sexual violence and other human rights issues.
  • HRRC Announces the 7th Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights


    Jakarta, 24 July 2014—The Human Rights Resource Centre today announces its seventh annual Summer Institute on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (Summer Institute), to be held from the 12th to the 15th of August, in Bali, Indonesia, together with Udayana University.
    This year’s Summer Institute centres on the theme of Violence against Women and Violence against Children in Conflict Situations and Beyond, and will include an opening address from Zainab Bangura as well as panel discussions on both the causes and consequences of such violence. It hopes to form a catalyst for greater discussion on both the provisions in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration that relate to the rights of women and children as well as the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of VAW and VAC that was adopted by the ASEAN Ministers for Social Welfare in October of 2013. The Summer Institute aims to bring together practitioners, academics and members of the ASEAN human rights commissions, committee, and Secretariat, to discuss how research in this area can better impact on policy considerations and vice versa.
    The Summer Institute is made possible through the generous support of the United States Government and the British Embassy in Jakarta.
    For further details on the Summer Institute please download the concept note and final programme. The Faculty of Law of the Udayana University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the Summer Institute will include a panel discussion to be held at the University which will be centred on the jubilee’s theme, Global Justice and Local Wisdom.
  • Concluding Report on Business and Human Rights: Social Auditing and Compliance Standards - A Research Team Submission

    Jakarta, 7 July 2014 — The Human Rights Resource Centre (HRRC) announces the conclusion of a research project on a potential set of standards, aimed at strengthening the use of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) by business enterprises. The UNGP was unanimously adopted by the Human Rights Council on 6 June 2011. An authoritative global standard was thus set that defines the respective roles of governments and business in ensuring governments’ responsibility to protect, business entities’ responsibility to respect human rights, and victims' rights for redress.
    The research examined the potential for a set of standards – known as the Business and Human Rights International Standard for Certification (BHRISC) 2011 – as a tool that businesses might potentially use as a standard to align their operations with the UNGP and comply with other international human rights norms and best practices. The standard was developed mainly by PT Moores Rowland Indonesia (a private auditing and consulting firm in Indonesia which is familiar with the issues of business and human rights), from an initiative by the HRRC. The development of BHRISC 2011 is premised on the idea that communities and the general public require a company’s human rights record to be reliably accounted for and independently assessed. The researchers also considered stakeholders’ concerns over certification schemes more generally, in light of lessons learned from previous schemes.
    The HRRC is an independent, not-for-profit research centre focusing on all aspects of human rights. It seeks to foster greater understanding and awareness of the UNGP within ASEAN, as well as globally, and to strengthen research in the application of the UNGP in the region. While the HRRC itself will not conduct nor be involved in any certification activities, it is committed to further research on regional practices for protecting and promoting human rights.
    The project on BHRISC 2011 includes components on the following human rights aspects of business activities:
    1.     Developing a Human Rights Management System
    2.     Impacts on a Business Enterprise’s and Supply Chain’s Workers
    A.   Impacts on Business Enterprise’s WorkersForced Labour
           - Child Labour and Young Workers
           - Conditions of Employment and Work
           - Non-discrimination Freedom of Association
           - Workplace Health and Safety 
    B.   Impacts on a Business Enterprise Supplier’s Workers
    3.     Impacts on Local Communities and the General Public
           - Land management
           - Environmental Management
    4.     Impacts Related to Products and Services
    5.     Impacts Related to Security
    The HRRC team has concluded its report and submitted its recommendation (download here) to the HRRC Governing Board.  The HRRC will undertake no further research, or certification activities, of any kind until its Governing Board has fully considered the results and recommendations of the current research report in the context of the programmatic priorities of the HRRC.  Interested parties can direct their enquiries on BHRISC 2011 to bhrisc2011@moores.rowland.com
  • HRRC Presents the Main Findings of its Study on Judicial Training in ASEAN

    Jakarta, 17 April 2014 — From the 8th to the 10th of April, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and Cambodia’s Royal Academy of Judicial Professions hosted the International Symposium on Judicial Integrity and Training in Phnom Penh. The two-day seminar was attended by representatives from judicial training institutions across ASEAN and is a continuation of a symposium on judicial training held in Taipei in 2013.

    During the event, HRRC’s Deputy Director, Michelle Staggs Kelsallpresented the main findings of the Centre’s most recent study, Judicial Training in ASEAN: A Comparative Overview of Systems and Programs.

    The study, which will be made publicly available later this month, provides an overview of judicial training mechanisms in ASEAN, including the structure and institutionalisation of judicial training. It also looks at how the institutions consider and incorporate issues relating to the ASEAN integration in the national judicial training curriculum. The study’s overarching goal is to consider the synergies and differences within judicial training systems so as to help lay the groundwork for future collaborations.

    The study noted the evolving nature of cooperation among judicial training institutions, with Singapore and Thailand having initiated programs that would increase cooperation in the region over the course of the next years. Issues pertaining to ASEAN are largely still considered as the purview of the executive and legislative branches of government in that they are the ones charged with laying out and implementing policies, rather than the judiciary, whose role is to interpret laws. Hence to date, there has been limited consideration of ASEAN-specific questions in judicial training programs.

    The study nevertheless emphasises that judicial training institutions have much to contribute to the process of ASEAN integration, and there remains much untapped potential for greater cooperation.

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