Business and Human Rights Training

ELSAM, Jakarta – Human rights is now a focus of attention of the business community. Global developments have resulted in the rise of a new power, namely the corporation. Corporations can result in both positive and negative impacts to communities where business operations are run. Corporations have an important role in the fulfillment of human rights, for both employees and the public in general.

In order to prevent negative impacts to the community, PT. Tower Bersama invited ELSAM to provide human rights training to staff members who are at the forefront in facing company stakeholders, who are assigned in various locations in Indonesia. “We expect training participants to obtain adequate knowledge in facing stakeholders, namely landlords, community and NGOs, so that in the field, participants can become parts of the company in respecting human rights of each stakeholder,” stated Sylvia Chung, Learning Management Division. The training was held in three days, 12-14 June 2014 in the Learning Center Tower of Bersama Group.

The training discussed, among other, basic concepts of human rights, human rights instruments and business instruments, correlation of business and human rights, protection of indigenous communities, etc. The training was facilitated by Ikhana Indah, and materials delivered by experts and practitioners such as Ifdhal Kasim, Majda El Muhtaj, Patricia Rinwigati, Wahyu Wagiman and Norman Jiwan.

The participants are responsible of the acquisition of lands to be leased for the building of towers in appropriate locations as demanded by operators, and be responsible for operational maintenance. The participants face a serious challenge in facing local community members, especially indigenous communities. They were initially confused about their operational standards: whether or not they are violating human rights; and what to do when conflicts occur with community members. Through this training, it is expected that participants can understand their role in conducting operational activities in respect of human rights, so as to minimize conflict.

“The challenge is in implementing the results of this training,” stated one of the twenty training participants.

The Business and Human Rights Training is the first training held by ELSAM for the business community. This training was done voluntarily in order to socialize the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.