Chapter 2.0

Implementing corporates’ responsibility to respect human rights

Chapter 2.1

What do companies need to do to respect human rights?

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights clearly states that companies should do the following measures:

  1. A policy statement on the company’s commitment to respect human rights included in the entire business operations
  2. Human Rights Due Diligence with purposes below:
    1. Assess actual and potential human rights impacts;
    2. Integrate and take appropriate actions based on the findings and recommendations from human rights impacts;
    3. Tracking the effectiveness of responses taken by the company;
    4. Communicate externally on actions taken by the company to overcome the impacts.
  3. Remedial mechanism from any adverse human rights impacts


These things will be discussed further in the Business respect for human rights

Companies’ progress in implementing SDGs

Based on the 2018 UN Global Compact Progress Report: Asia Pacific Analysis, Global Compact members have a different focus on carrying out sustainability. The chart below shows the composition of the company’s business in carrying out sustainability.

Source: UN Global Compact Progress Report 2018: Asia Pacific Analysis

Many companies have acted in accordance with the SDGs and demonstrated their commitment to sustainability through communication with the public. However, there are still few companies that have done human rights impacts assessments.

Section 2.2

How can companies conduct human rights impacts assessments?

To assess the business impact of human rights, companies must pay attention to three interconnected factors:

  1. Activities of the company

How do company activities affect human rights?


  1. Business relations

How can companies contribute to human rights violations through company relationships and partnerships (eg suppliers, contractors, consumers, government, etc.)?


  1. Country context and local conditions

How can the context of a particular country and local conditions (social, political and economic factors) affect human rights?

The table below provides several examples of company impacts. The order of impact presentation does not show a hierarchy of which impacts are more important.

Impact of company activities and partnerships

Direct Contributions or Indirect Contributions?

Direct contribution (2a) is a contribution that actively encourages business partners to violate human rights. For example, requesting extremely tight delivery times so suppliers violate human rights of workers. Workers are forced to work excessively overtime to reach targets or risk losing contracts.

Indirect contributions (2b) are company contributions when establishing relationships with business partners who violate human rights. Meanwhile, the company has not taken any actions to encourage partners to respect human rights. For example, suppliers use child labor without the knowledge of the buyer’s company.

The difference between direct or indirect contributions is important, because direct contributions can be handled by changing their own behavior. However, indirect contributions to violations can only be stopped through changing the behavior of business associates or stopping relations.

Section 2.3

How can companies determine their responsibilities?

Responsibilities arising from the human rights impact assessments.

  1. Activities of the company
    Companies are responsible for their own activities. For example, companies are responsible for establishing Occupational Health and Safety (K3) procedures. The recruitment policy must also not be discriminatory on irrelevant aspects to the job.
  1. Business relations
    Companies are responsible for the company’s business relationships and partnerships. Contributions to human rights violations can include involvement in cooperation with partners who do not have the capacity, knowledge, or willingness to ensure respect for human rights.Has the company tried to promote business and human rights to business partners?If a business partner lacks the capacity or knowledge to respect human rights, the company can help build that capacity through price incentives, training, etc. Companies can also ask local governments to create regulations and incentives so that partners respect human rights. However, when a business partner violates human rights and does not have the desire to change, a company should consider terminating the existing relationship.Companies also must reflect on themselves before blaming suppliers or the government. There is a possibility of human rights violations from business partners due to pressures from the company. For example, sudden changes in product design and very small profit margins can lead to an increase in forced labor or child labor to meet the requirements of the supplier contract.
  1. Country context and local conditions
    Companies risk cooperating with human rights violator governments in the company’s operations.

Taking into account how human rights of various parties are influenced by company activities

Companies need to ensure that they have considered the interests of various parties to ensure that companies respect the human rights of everyone.


Companies’ human rights impacts on internal stakeholders

Source: Komnas HAM, 2017.

Companies’ human rights impacts on external stakeholders

Companies’ human rights impacts on the environment

Sumber: Komnas HAM, 2017.

Industry and sector initiatives as standard

Industry and sector initiatives can reflect corporate responsibility and impact standards in accordance with the context of each industry and sector.

Therefore, it will be useful for companies to build their approach through their sector organizations (e.g. Fair Wear Foundation and Fair Labor Association (clothing), International Council on Mining and Metals, International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (mining). – principles for certain topics can also help (examples of Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Equator Principles for Project Financing). Companies can also consider general initiatives such as the Global Compact Principles and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Company.


  • ELSAM dan Komnas HAM (2017), Rencana Aksi Nasional Bisnis dan Hak Asasi Manusia. Jakarta: Komnas HAM.
  • Global Compact, “Global Compact 2018 Progress Report: Asia Pacific Analysis”, 2018.
  • Inisiatif Bisnis dan Hak Asasi Manusia (2010), “Bagaimana Menjalankan Bisnis dengan Menghormati Hak Asasi Manusia: Sebuah Alat Panduan bagi Perusahaan,” Den Haag: Global Compact Network Netherlands
  •  INFID, “Kertas Kebijakan: Menuju Implementasi Prinsip-Prinsip Panduan PBB tentang Bisnis dan HAM di Indonesia, 2018.
  • Kementerian Luar Negeri, “Draf Panduan Bisnis dan HAM versi 13 Desember 2018”, Jakarta, 13 Desember 2018.
  • Shift, Oxfam and Global Compact Network Netherlands, “Doing Business with Respect for Human Rights: A Guidance Tool for Companies”, 2016.
  • Ilustrasi:

UNGPs : Access to Remedy