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14 Jun 2013

Jakarta Post (Indonesia)

Human rights violations can be costly for business

Observing human rights such as labor standards and community rights may not necessarily improve business profits but violating them could certainly be costly...Speaking at a discussion at the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Ruggie said the connection between human rights and business practices were not restricted to labor issues, but also impacted on the local community where it operated, especially when it concerned indigenous people. Major companies, especially those involved in extractive industries like mining and oil, have had to reach deep into their pockets, due to problems it caused for the locals, he said...Workers’ safety is another expenditure that companies may want to invest in, after more than 1,100 people died when the building of a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh last month...He also cited an ongoing court case in the United States where Exxon Mobil has been accused of complicity with the Indonesian military for the killings and abuses that took place in Aceh in 2001... “There is an extraterritorial legal risk dimension that goes along with these investments,” Ruggie said.