Mazars: Human Rights Compliance is Central to Business
Jakarta, 20 October 2010
If corporations conduct their business in a sustainable manner, they can be an effective driving force for better education, equality and prosperity in developing nations. Furthermore, Human Rights and Social Compliance is good business and stakeholders will reward good behavior and good companies. On the other hand however, if they do this poorly, corporations can cause discrimination, degrade the environment and exploit vulnerable groups, which in turn will see stakeholders punish such companies.
The aim of linking business operations with Human Rights and Social Compliance is to enable corporations to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights in sustainable economic development and highlight the fact that compliance will have a direct effect on the company's bottom line and profitability.
Today, 20 October 2010, Mazars, an international, integrated and independent organization, specializing in audit, accounting, tax, legal and advisory services is conducting a Seminar on “Doing Business Sustainably: Human Rights Compliance” in Jakarta.
The seminar is being attended by Dr. Homayoun Alizadeh, the Regional Representative for South-East Asia Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Bernd Sagasser, legal partner of Marccus Partners, Letjen Agus Widjojo, Chairman of National Institute for Democratic Governance and former Deputy Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), representing The Military and National Police Faction, Nur Kholis, Deputy Chairman – External Relations - Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights/ KOMNAS HAM, and Marzuki Darusman, Director of the Human Rights Research Center for ASEAN (HRRCA).
James Kallman, President Director of Mazars in Indonesia and moderator of the seminar said: “In recent years, we have seen a growing understanding among companies that recognizing human rights risks in their local operating environments is one of the most important steps in ensuring company compliance, good practices and, as a result, doing business sustainably. This has a direct effect on Corporate bottom lines and profitability. Our clients care about Human Rights and Social Compliance and so does Mazars, deeply."
Human Rights and Social compliance is a powerful strategy for conducting business in a sustainable manner, legitimizing a business or becoming a social license for a company to operate.
However, business must also realize the complexity of performing human rights due diligence as part of its sustainable commitment.
Bernd Sagasser, legal partner at Marccus Partners, a law firm and a member of Group Mazars said: “Business operations are subject to several laws, either locally or internationally. The challenges for business are: How to recognize which human rights law falls under which Human Rights treaty as the company's legal obligation. Which laws are in close harmony with the corporate objective and the ability of the company to fulfill them.”
The other aspect addressed at the seminar is the need to clearly establish the line of the obligation of the state and corporations. Recently, both states and corporations have been placed under intensive pressure on this issue. The blurred line of the obligation is due to many other demands that come into play, such as the state’s need for investment, job creation, access to markets, technology and skills, and the limited ability of the state to fulfill these demands.
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