Jakarta, 7 November 2014—The Project Team of the Reporting and Assurance Framework Initiative (RAFI) conducted a regional experts consultation today, concluding the series of RAFI consultations in Jakarta for this year. Earlier on Wednesday this week, the 5th of November, the Project Team had also conducted its third consultation with civil society organisations working in Indonesia. During these consultations, the Team gave an update on the developments of the RAFI to date. Particularly, it presented the first drafts of the reporting framework and its implementation guide.
Reporting initiatives are now becoming part of the greater landscape of business and human rights activities. There are a growing number of international regulatory and other requirements for companies to report on their human rights performance, including in ASEAN. This has raised the question of what good reporting on company alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, as well as good assurance of such reports, should involve—a question that RAFI seeks to respond to.
Rounds of consultations on the RAFI to date have brought important insights to the initiative. Reports of all consultations to date (in Bangkok, Jakarta, London, Medellin, New Delhi and New York) are posted on the initiative’s portal. The Project Team has recently issued an update of key “take-aways” from the consultations as well as bilateral discussions and webinars conducted from January to July 2014, which are setting the direction of the initiative’s next stages.
Following on from the second round of in-depth, expert consultations with small, multi-stakeholder groups in New York and London in April of this year, the Project Team held their second round of consultation with regional experts in Jakarta to get in-depth feedback on the evolving draft of the human rights reporting framework, as well as its implementation guide. The consultation also discussed some key principles that could underpin the assurance framework. Experts shared their opinions on whether they thought the framework would elicit reports that would be meaningful for stakeholders to read and whether such reports would support better dialogues and conversations, both within the company and with external stakeholders. The experts also commented on the information sought by the framework—whether the disclosure sought would be viable for companies to report on.
Both consultations with regional experts and Indonesian CSOs form part of the Project Team’s strategy to invite active engagement and input on the RAFI and were supported by the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta.