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Rempang Eco-City investors urged to assess development's human rights impact

Tempo - September 19, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) urged the investors in Rempang Eco-City to identify and assess the human rights impact of the city development, including the actual and potential harm. ELSAM believed that the impact study needs to be articulated throughout the investment life cycle.

"The damage may involve the investors, whether through their activities, the result of the investment, or through the chain value in the development of Rempang Eco-City," ELSAM wrote in a press release received on Monday, September 18, 2023.

Earlier this month, the bubbling conflict in Rempang Island erupted into a clash between civilians and security enforcers on September 7 and 11, 2023. Residents of Rempang have previously refused to be relocated from their homes.

ELSAM stressed that the relocation plan needs to pay close attention to the human rights of Rempang residents, as mandated in the Constitution and Human Rights Law No. 39 of 1999. The human rights highlighted by ELSAM are the freedom of expression, the right to be protected from violence, the right to shelter, the right to information, and the right to participate in development.

The relevant human rights are also reflected in the UN Guideline Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs on BHR), which allotted the state's duty to regulate in the context of investment. Thus, Indonesia, in this case, has to consider between investment decisions and public policy. Special Representative of the Secretary-General on transnational corporations and human rights stressed that investment is one of the main policy domains in human rights protection.

The UNGPs on BHR also obliged the government and investors to provide relief to people negatively impacted by investment, in this case, Rempang residents, including the victims during the clash. The form of relief includes compensation, restitution, apologies, and a guarantee of non-recurrence.

ELSAM believed that the obligation to honor and protect human rights will implicate law enforcement in Indonesia since the state is obliged to ensure that investment law and company law do not infringe on human rights. "Thus, the state ought to focus on creating investment policy in accordance with human rights principles and standards," ELSAM wrote.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1773695/rempang-eco-city-investors-urged-to-assess-developments-human-rights-impac