Human rights should be on CEPA agenda
CNV International and the Indonesian trade movement KSBSI, on 12, 13 and 14 September, draw attention to human rights in Indonesia in Brussels. The aim is to draw the attention of the members of the European Commission during the negotiations on the CEPA Trade Agreement with Indonesia.
"We urge the negotiating parties to first conduct a human rights analysis," says Martine Kersten, CNV Internationaal's lobbyist.
The outcome of this human rights analysis must determine the outcome of the negotiations on CEPA, according to Sulistri Afrileston (Vice President of KSBSI), Hanneke Smits and Martine Kersten (of CNV International).
Trade unions also want the negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement with Indonesia to be more open. Thus, discussions on sustainable development and human rights can be better monitored.
"The ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian companies demonstrate the lack of application and enforcement of international human rights treaties by the Indonesian government."
An investigation conducted by the Research Institute for Multinational Enterprises (SOMO), commissioned by CNV Internationaal, shows that the palm oil industry in Indonesia is characterized by serious violations of human and labour rights.
Kersten: "The ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian companies demonstrate the lack of application and enforcement of international human rights treaties by the Indonesian government." It is important that explicit attention is given to this situation in the CEPA negotiations in order to prevent negative effects of CEPA.
CNV Internationaal and KSBSI engage with other European development cooperation organizations to see if they can jointly foster a healthy living environment and improve human and labour rights in Indonesia.
Investment protection is one of the biggest dangers for human rights
As with other major trade treaties, investment protection is also one of the biggest dangers for human rights in CEPA. The proposed agreement limits the freedom of Indonesia to set rules in the public interest.
Standard investment protection provisions allow foreign investors to land countries for an international tribunal if they fear that new laws adversely affect their profit forecast. Indonesia has been faced with such claims costing millions several times, which forced the country to diminish the intended policy and refrain from stricter environmental legislation.
The third round of negotiations on CEPA takes place in Brussels
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