Training Changes Advocacy Strategy in West Kalimantan
Before the Due Diligence training held in April 2019 the participants had not much engagement and understanding on the topic of ‘ Business and Human Rights’. Now they are aware that companies can harm human rights. Participants are going to share their knowledge to fellow organizations in their respective regions and develop roadmaps to respect human rights. Actions must be strategically considered to avoid the high risk of confrontational approaches that can harm collaborative advocacy.
One of the participants, Quadi Azam from BITRA is allocating his time to become a UNGP facilitator and local NGOs that are assisting the community when dealing with the companies in North Sumatra.
Another participant was Jumadi Asnawi from LPS-AIR NGO (Institute for Regional Information Flow Study), a member of NGO Council Indonesia based in the City of Pontianak, West Kalimantan. Violations of company operations that harm society often occur, such as forest fires, community and company conflicts and other environmental damage; all taken like never bad things happened. The training became an eye opener for Jumadi. He expresses now his appreciation on the principles and pillars of UNGPs on Business and Human Rights namely: Protect, Respect, and Remedy.
On his own initiative and the response from others, Jumadi promotes the UNGPs on Business and Human Rights as a speaker or facilitator at various forums in West Kalimantan. For example LPS-AIR conducted a series of visits to NGO networks around Pontianak.
Jumadi decided to join Class Action against the companies and local governments to stop the haze disaster and forest destruction in West Kalimantan. Jumadi said: "Claiming corporate responsibility and providing recovery for victims must also be pursued, because this is also part of the pillar of the remedy in the UNGPs on Business and Human Rights".
For both Quadi and Jumadi, it is evident that grassroot organizations need support. They are direct exposed or have open conflicts with companies, with limited options for dialogue. The situation can be very confrontational and difficult to create a partnering-based advocacy approach and mutual trust with the company.
As a member of Civic Engagement Alliance Indonesia, NGO Council has been doing lobby and advocacy work since the 80s. With the knowledge of the UNGP framework she will prioritize the high numbers of human rights issues by companies in West Kalimantan and North Sumatra.