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INFID: Indonesia in human rights violations emergency in three business sectors

Tempo - July 14, 2022

Moh. Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) said that Indonesia is in a state of emergency of human rights violations in the business world.

They highlighted the issue in the 'Latest Human Rights News from the Business Sector in Indonesia', a Pre-Conference dialogue ahead of the SDGs Conference and the INFID General Assembly on 19-20 July.

INFID noted three business sectors as being vulnerable to human rights violations against workers and environmental aspects: aquaculture, mining, and forestry; all of which are vital sectors that support the Indonesian economy.

The Energy Ministry recorded Rp42.36 trillion state revenues from the mineral and coal mining sector as of September 6, 2021, 108.33 percent of the year's target.

Unfortunately, the mining sector is rife with cases of human rights violations, the latest being the Kendeng and Wadas cases in Central Java.

"In some places, human rights vulnerabilities come from the danger of mining pits, land evictions, violations of customary rights, neglect of local communities, to neglect of social or environmental impacts from extraction practices," the INFID report stated.

In the forestry sector, the executive director of Legal Aid and People's Advocacy of North Sumatra (Bakumsu), Tongam Panggabea, said that in North Sumatra forestry conflicts emerged as an implication of the Minister of Forestry's Decree No.AK.579/Menhut-II/2014 on North Sumatra Province Forest Area, and the granting of the Industrial Plantation Forest concession to PT Toba Pulp Lestari.

According to Tongan, the allocation of forest permits is 40.46 million hectares for companies, 1.74 million hectares for the community, and 41,200 hectares for public purposes. "This shows a very high gap in the forestry sector," he said.

Tongam also saw that a number of articles actually gave room for 'excessive criminalization' of people who should be protected by law, in this case, the indigenous people and local residents.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights addresses the issue by establishing a National Task Force for Business and Human Rights. One of its duties is formulating the National Strategy for Business and Human Rights (STRANAS BHAM) in Indonesia.

Hajerati, Director of Human Rights Cooperation at the ministry, said that the government is also developing the PRISMA app to help business actors evaluate policies within their companies – whether they enforce human rights principles based on the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business & Human Rights.

"The app is for voluntary self-assessment and has been used by several SOEs," Hajerati said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1612016/infid-indonesia-in-human-rights-violations-emergency-in-three-business-sector