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Responding department: Indonesia Human Rights Commission

Note: The information below was provided by the Indonesia Human Rights Commission.

Has your government taken any initiatives to reduce companies’ negative impacts on human rights that you consider particularly successful?

I don't think that [the] Indonesia[n] government has taken an initiative compliance to human rights standards.

What department or departments have significant responsibility for business and human rights within your government?

There are many departments that relate with business and human rights, since this issue is cross cutting and multi sectoral issue that need a comprehensive approach from many departments.

Has your government undertaken new business & human rights initiatives or strengthened existing ones since the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles in June 2011?


Has your government adopted a National Action Plan on business and human rights as encouraged by the UN Human Rights Council and UN Working Group on business & human rights, or will it do so in the future?

I don't know yet whether the government will take this initiative. As far [as] I know, there are no plan[s] to take this issue as an important agenda [item] for the new elected government.

Access to remedy: What steps have been taken to develop new judicial or administrative remedies or to reduce barriers to existing remedies for victims?

In May 2013, [the] Consitutional Court issued its Decision number 35 year 2012 which is an important moment for the struggle for recognition of the existence of indigenous peoples and their rights. The Court agreed to ammend the Forestry Law which was in conflict with the Constitution where Customary forests belong to the indigenous people, not to the state anymore. The court's decision has been rightfully described as a historic ruling not least because of the huge areas involved: the area treated as hutan negara up to now covers around 70% of Indonesia's total land area. Indonesia's vast forest zone (kawasan hutan), controlled by the immensely powerful forestry department has been treated almost without exception as kasawan hutan negara (state forest areas) although this has been done on shaky legal ground. In turn, the forestry department has leased tens of millions of hectares out for public and private sector exploitation, handed it over to be cleared for non-forest use.

Access to remedy: What steps have been taken to develop new non-judicial remedies, improve existing mechanisms, and reduce barriers for victims?

Access to remedy: For companies headquartered in your country or their subsidiaries, has your government taken steps to enhance accountability for human rights impacts abroad?

Which factors impede your government’s ability to take action on business and human rights?

Most important factor:

  • Lack of resources for enforcement, monitoring and prosecution
  • Opposition by economic interest groups or business associations
  • Other opposition by infulential people or groups outside government
  • Lack of understanding or awareness of business & human rights in governmant

Significant factor:

  • Opposition or lack of consensus within government
  • Political limitations imposed by foreign governments or multilateral institutions
  • Concern about deterring foreign investment
  • Challenges of coordinating across government departments
  • Other: Lack of capacity and capability of the government

What, if any, form of support would your government welcome the most to help advance its actions to improve companies’ impacts on human rights?

  • Capacity building on business and human rights for government officials and [the] Human Rights Commission
  • Public campaign
  • Creating a guideline for companies on how to implement [a] human rights based approach on the business activity

Please share with us any further comments, including ideas for future collaboration and shared learning to advance business & human rights.

[B]usiness and human rights is quite [a] new issue and the government does not yet take it as [an] important issue to be integrated in the policy and program, [w]hile in fact, many complaint[s] related [to] business complicity [in] human rights abuses [are] received by [the] Human Rights Commission. Therefore, we need to enhance the campaign and [underline to] the government the importance of this issue for sustainable development and long-term investment.