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Commentary: Adopting human rights due diligence is good business for Indonesian companies

"Adopting human rights due diligence is good business for companies", 20 February 2021

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...the UNGPs and its guidance in conducting Human Rights Due Diligence have gained new currency among business leaders, trade and investment policy analysts. ...

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At its core, HRDD is an ongoing assessment that helps businesses to assess and mitigate threats to the lives and dignity of stakeholders, including employees, vulnerable groups, communities, and consumers. In carrying out HRDD, businesses need to assess the risks, act upon the findings, track performance, and communicate the results to the public.

The case for businesses to embrace UNGPs and its guidelines on HRDD is clear. Though HRDD is focused on risks to people and not centered on profitability, conducing HRDD would help companies avoid reputational and operational harm that might for example, accompany charges of forced labor.  In carrying out HRDD, business need to identify their impact on human rights issues and demonstrate measures to prevent these rights violations from occurring.

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Conducting HRDD and involving women in the discussion – through women’s rights groups and other avenues – can help identify and put an end to discriminative practices and become a catalyst to remove barriers which prevent women from climbing up the ladder in the corporate world.

In an era of shifting global supply chains and rising consumer expectations for responsible behavior, efforts to mitigate human rights risks cannot be the rare experiment by Indonesian businesses, but rather normal business practice. If business and government leaders choose to fully embrace the UNGPs and its provisions for HRDD, Indonesia will be more poised to enjoy the fruits of economic recovery and sustainable development.

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