TNCs, Labour, Environment and Human Rights in Indonesia

This article was first published in The Jakarta Post on the 4th July 2013, here>>>.

The business operations of transnational corporations (TNCs) have long been labelled as one of the main contributor of human rights violations, environment degradation, social conflicts and deteriorating labour conditions. As TNCs can easily relocate their capital to different countries whenever their business interest is at risk, they tend to put little respect to non-business issues.

Though that situation is correct to some extent, TNCs on the other hand, has a huge potential to endorse better condition of human rights in country where their business operation is located. One of the main reasons for this argument is that with its financial power, TNCs are capable to play significant role in promoting better respect for human rights, sustaining environment, help to improve social live through the fulfillment of access to health and education services, and establishing proper labour conditions.

The most recent haze crisis is one of examples where the operations of TNCs have brought negative impacts to the environment and posing risk to the health of not just the local populations, but also to the people across the region. Likewise, not so long ago, the collapse of underground tunnel incident in one of the largest mining site in Papua had resulted to the lost of several lives. This incident shows that mining operation poses a high risk to workers’ live and to the environment.

So far, the government has taken action in both the haze and the underground tunnel case by conducting investigations. However, this action seems to be insufficient to prevent similar incidents to reoccur in the future. The government should begin to think of alternative measures to ensure that TNCs observe human rights, environment protection, health and safety, and respecting the social lives of local population in conducting their business operation.

To date, there are a number of non-binding instrument at international level. Likewise, many TNCs have publicly announced their own standard of conduct in relation to labour, environment, social and human rights issues. However, what makes violations of these issues by TNCs continue to occur? There are at least two answers for this question.

First, it is argued that TNCs are profit-maximization entities. Therefore, they will only consider non-business issues if this conduct would increase their profitability. Unfortunately, many TNCs think that respecting human rights, protecting labour and environment would only put additional cost to their production line. This is exactly what happened in the haze incident. Fire is the cheapest method in carrying out land clearance in the expansion of palm oil plantation.

Second, TNCs adopt a self-making human rights, labour and environment standard as part of their marketing strategy. They use this self-making standard merely as a lip service to show that they have put effort to implement the standard. In fact, many of these self-making standards are lack of regular examination mechanism by an independent auditor. Therefore, the implementation of these self-making standards cannot be clarified.

The international human rights regime put the government as the main duty bearer to ensure the protection, respect and fulfilment of human rights. It is the duty of government to ensure that TNCs, operating within its jurisdiction, do not perform any harm to the labour, environment, and human rights. In order to fulfill its duty, the Indonesian government need to implement an instrument on these issues for TNCs to observe. Among a wide range of standards for TNCs available at international level, the government should seriously consider to adopt the ‘OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises’.

There are a number of advantages in adopting this standard. This guideline set a number of conducts to be carried out by TNCs in wide area of issues, including human rights, labour, and environment. Further, this guideline provides a mechanism for examination and dispute settlement by the National Contact Point for any allegation to the violation of rights by TNCs. In addition, it has been implemented since 1974, and has been lastly up-dated in 2011 to adjust with the recent development in the way TNCs conduct their business operation. Most importantly, this guideline is endorsed and implemented by all 34 governments of OECD member countries, the home countries of worlds’ largest TNCs.

Unfortunately, adopting and enforcing an international instrument, especially a non-binding instrument like the OECD Guideline is not an easy task. This effort may also invite strong resistance from the TNCs. However, there are a number of alternative ways which may be considered by the Indonesian government.

First, the adoption of OECD Guideline may be done through inserting the guideline into bilateral investment treaty or other international investment treaties which is signed by Indonesian government and the other foreign country governments, especially the OECD member countries. Inserting a non-binding instrument into a legally binding instrument such as treaty would strengthen the regulatory character of the non-binding instrument.

Second, the Indonesian government has recently been conducting a renegotiation of mining contract with a number of TNCs that holding mining concessions or permits. This would be a good momentum for the government to include the implementation of the guideline by TNCs on the negotiation table. The government should grab the opportunity to ensure the commitment of TNCs operating in mining sector to observe the guideline. A similar procedure may be followed to other sectors that pose high risk to labour, environment and human rights.

Third, this alternative might be the most contentious, nevertheless, worth it is considered. The Indonesian government may consider of becoming an adherence country to the ‘OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises’. Adherence to the guideline shows that the government is not being discriminative to TNCs operating in Indonesia. This is because every Indonesian company operating overseas will also committing to observe the guideline. Thus, adherence to the guideline will create a ‘level playing field’ and minimise resistance from the TNCs operating in Indonesia to implement the guideline.

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Milk contamination: Conflict between global corporations and public interest

This article was first published in The Jakarta Post on 9 March 2011, can be accessed through the link HERE

It is regrettable that the issue of infant formula milk contamination may only end up with a plan to conduct another investigative research. This plan clearly shows the government’s non-compliance to the Supreme Court’s verdict, which demanded three institutions publish a list of contaminated milk products distributed in 2003-2006.

To date, there have been no convincing reasons why the Health Ministry, the Food and Drug Supervisory Body (BPOM) and the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) refused to abide by the verdict. The ministry assumes no obligation to publish, as it was not the institution that conducted the research, while IPB argues that they have no legal basis to publish its research findings to the public.

If viewed more closely, this case involves the interests of global corporations, and the foremost global producers of formula milk. Undoubtedly, there is a fear that these corporations will have to face legal suits filed by consumers when the research findings are disseminated. This does not include the decrease in worldwide consumer’s confidence in several leading brands that would also lead to a decline in companies’ profit.

In short, the adverse impact that would occur and litigation costs that must be paid by these corporations will be very big indeed. At the same time, the government’s dependence on foreign direct investments has also been so high. This situation explains why the Health Ministry chose to ignore the ruling of the Supreme Court, and violated the public’s right to information.

The ability of global corporations in influencing the government’s public policies is not unusual. There are at least three different ways that are often carried out by global corporations in protecting their business interests in developing countries. And there have been many examples where the foreign corporation uses these means to secure their business activities in Indonesia.

First, foreign investment has the characteristics where capital can be transferred and factories can be relocated from one country to another. This situation requires host governments to maintain positive investment climate, because the opposite condition would lead to the relocation of capital to other countries.

It is common that when many foreign investors are threatening to relocate their operations to another country, the government will im-mediately take measures to amend regulations on labor, taxation and business permits. Unfortunately, in many cases these measures are taken without taking into consideration the social impacts that may follow.

Second, foreign investment activities are usually conducted in cooperation with politicians or people who have access to government. This cooperation is generally done through the mechanism of joint operation contracts or by allocating shares ownership for a national company that has a direct or indirect affiliation with political leaders or government officials.

This cooperation is required by global corporations to ensure that the parliament and government will not enact any law or regulation that could adversely impact their business interests.

For instance, there was a joint operation between an Australian mining company and a national company which has affiliations with the leader of a political party. These companies invested in a natural gas exploitation project in Sidoarjo, East Java. Apparently, this project has been stopped due to the mud flow. Perhaps, because of the political influence wielded by the national partners, that foreign company can safely withdraw from this project, regardless of the fact that social and economic impacts are still felt by the communities affected by the mud flow up until recently.

Third, when unfavorable situations occur, foreign corporations will usually request their government initiate a “G to G” settlement. Indeed, there is no guarantee that the host government would immediately change its policy, but the bargaining power owned by governments from developed countries may at least force governments in developing countries to delay or replace the policy out of concern for the one that is less harmful to the interests of foreign investment.

The use of a G to G settlement by the foreign investor in an attempt to rescue their business operations in Indonesia is not unprecedented. This can clearly be seen when the government of one developed country express its disappointment against the ruling of the Commercial Court on the bankruptcy of a subsidiary of a Canadian insurance company in 2002. Eventually, that ruling was annulled by the Supreme Court. Whether it is true or not, the public might have the opinion that foreign pressure had influences the final ruling in the case.

So what should be done by the Indonesian government in addressing the pressures of global corporate power? The main problem in this country is the lack of legal certainty. The three ways taken by global corporations in securing their investment activity as described above occurs precisely because they believe that the rule of law in Indonesia cannot provide certainty on the limits of rights and obligations of persons and legal entities.

In the milk contamination case for instance, it is unclear who has the obligation to announce the research findings which may affect public safety. This is not to mention the issue of the legal protection of the researchers, and the producers themselves.

Obviously, producers must also be given equal opportunities to explain and prove that their product is safe for consumption. Unfortunately, the government has not yet provided a clear and fair accountability mechanism in this issue.

The lack of legal certainty would make the government become more powerless in regulating global corporations. There have been many cases in which companies with global brands have been willing to pay compensation and recall their products from the market. Similarly, there was a case where a global corporation in the mining sector was willing to abide by the court’s decision to make restitutions following a leak of one of its pipelines. Can the same thing also happen in Indonesia?

There are many things that must be done, but among the most important issues is legal certainty. A legal certainty must guarantee that any act detrimental to the interests of the public will be made accountable through a transparent and fair mechanism.

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Fitting Human Rights into the ASEAN-China FTA: Indonesian Perspective

Another version of this article was first published in The Jakarta Post daily news paper on 12 January 2009, see in more detail here>>>.

Trade Liberalization

Entering the year 2010 is marked by the entry into force of a free trade area agreement between ASEAN and China or also known as the ASEAN-China FTA. Unfortunately, not many commentators or even government agency specifically analyze the possible impact of this FTA agreement to the fulfillment of rights-human rights in Indonesia. In fact, there are many aspects of human rights that can be affected by the enforcement of this FTA, some of which are the rights to health and a healthy environment, right to work and to earn a decent livelihood, the access to natural resources rights, and other social, economic, and cultural rights.

Because of space limitation, this article will not examine the impacts that can be caused by the FTA on all aspects of human rights which has been recognized under several legislations in Indonesia. The simple analysis addressed in this article on the linkages between the implementation of this FTA with the prospect of the fulfillment of human rights in Indonesia is expected to become inputs for the government and NGOs in formulating their policies. So that human rights fulfillment is not marginalized by trade liberalization reasons.

The ASEAN-China FTA was actually first agreed in 2001 in the ASEAN-China Summit which formulate a Framework on Economic Co-operation and to establish an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. Under this framework, it was agreed to establish a free trade area within 10 years time. Furthermore, the agreement was then reinforced by the signing of Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-Operation Between ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China in Phnom Penh, on November 4, 2002, by the head of state and government of all ASEAN countries and the People’s Republic of China.

ASEAN-China FTA is not the first trade liberalization agreement which entered by Indonesia. Indonesia’s participation in regional and international trade agreement began with the AFTA in 1992, followed by its accession as member of the WTO, and by other agreements such as the ASEAN-Japanese FTA, Korea-ASEAN FTA, as well as bilateral agreement with Japan in Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJ-EPA). These agreements could possibly be added by the EU-ASEAN FTA. The same possibility may also happen in the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, both agreements are now still in the negotiation process.

Some commentators found that a number of trade agreements may potentially limits the fulfillment of human rights. IJ-EPA for example, got criticized because this agreement is considered to facilitate the entry of hazardous toxic waste to Indonesia (The Jakarta Post, 06/27/2008). Similarly, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA is considered to be expanding the opportunity on the ownership of land by foreigners, this is due to national treatment provision, in which foreign companies should be treated the same as those obtained by domestic companies in terms of land ownership (bilaterals.org , 02/04/2009).

The fulfillment of Human Rights

What about the ASEAN-China FTA? Would there be any impact from the implementation of this FTA on the fulfillment of human rights in Indonesia? There have been many objections raised by the industry associations and business on the implementation of this FTA, mainly because they are not ready yet to compete. Some analysts believe China’s international trade will only benefit more in this FTA, this is based on the deficit trade balance against China which continues for the last few years. But that is more to economic reasons, below are some reasons to describe why the FTA would potentially affect the fulfillment of human rights in Indonesia.

First, among the commodities that have to be liberalized are agriculture and fisheries products. However, the majority of Indonesia’s populations are very much depending in these two sectors. The possible entry of agricultural and fisheries products from China in a substantially lower price would be a direct threat to the fulfillment of the rights of Indonesian farmers and fishermen to work and earn a decent livelihood. In fact, the effect of these cheaper agricultural and fisheries products from China has already hit our farmers and fishermen even before this FTA enter into force (Antara, 30/12/2009).

The same situation will possibly be occurred in the manufacturing sector. The entry of goods at a lower price from China would make our key manufacturing industries unable to compete and will have to close his business or at least reduce its production capacity. This situation will not only result in the higher rates of termination of employment – which is estimated to  reached the figure of 7.5 million workers – but the harder competition for jobs will obviously lower the bargaining position of labor and workers. This situation will in turn make it too difficult for the workers to obtain their basic rights, such as the rights to a proper wages and compensation on termination.

Second, of course we still remember when the Indonesian Department of Health issued a ban on the circulation of food products, beverages and cosmetics imported from China. This was because they proved to be contained with chemicals which harmful to human. Likewise, it was also found that some elements in toy products come from China are made from harmful chemicals. The lower cost of producing goods in China seems to have a direct relationship with the poor health safety of these products. These experiences should become an important lesson for the government.

With tariff reduced to zero percent, it is inevitable that the number of imported goods from China will be significantly higher. The government should then strengthen the health standards of a product. However, this measure alone is not enough, governments will also need to reinforce its control mechanisms, imposing effective sanctions for non-compliance and provide direct and appropriate compensation for the victim. Without these four measures in hand, it is sufficed to say that the government may have ignored the rights of its citizens on healthy living and healthy environment.

Third, unlike the upcoming EU-ASEAN FTA which in its negotiating directive clearly stating that the establishment of a free trade area between the European Union and ASEAN will fully respect the implementation of “… international environmental and social agreements and standards”, the same provision does not exist in the ASEAN-China FTA. The lacks of guarantee to respect environmental and social rights in this FTA may put the environment and society in a vulnerable position.

As we all may have been aware, environmental standards in China are relatively low. Industrialization in China led to a higher level of air and water pollution. It is argued that China will more likely to overtake the United States as the largest producer of carbon emissions in the world (New York Times, 26/08/2007). With the entering of industrial machinery and investors from China, government must ensure that the environmental law and corporate social responsibility obligations are strictly observed. We certainly do not want the ASEAN-China FTA opens the way for the destruction of the environment and violations of social and cultural rights of the people by foreign investors.

Does not fit: But must be worn

Like fitting a new dress, it appears that ASEAN-China FTA does not entirely fit with human rights. This is because the implementation of this FTA may potentially hinder the fulfillment of human rights in Indonesia. There will be a lot of homework for governments, including ensuring the availability of jobs, the fulfillment of labor rights, environmental protection and respect for social and cultural rights. But the Indonesian government seems unlikely to back out of this agreement. Although it will feel a bit cramped, the human rights dress must not be unworn.

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Ada Apa Dengan Balibo?

baliboKita tentu masih ingat peristiwa ketika Sutiyoso yang saat itu Gubernur DKI Jakarta sangat marah karena dipaksa untuk hadir dalam persidangan pada Pengadilan Glebe Coroners New South Wales di Sydney untuk menjadi saksi dalam kasus kematian Brian Peters, salah satu dari lima jurnalis asing yang menjadi korban di Balibo Timor Timur tahun 1975 – atau yang biasa disebut “Balibo Five”. Sutiyoso menolak hadir dan segera kembali ke Jakarta (Antara, 06/06/07). Namun pada akhirnya Pengadilan tersebut memutuskan bahwa personil TNI adalah pihak yang membunuh jurnalis Australia tersebut (ABC News, 16/11/07).

Berdasarkan temuan tersebut, Australian Federal Police (AFP) memutuskan melakukan investigasi lebih lanjut. Langkah ini mengundang reaksi keras dari Presiden SBY, ia menilai bahwa penyelidikan tersebut bertentangan dengan semangat mengakhiri hal-hal yang bisa mengganggu hubungan Indonesia dengan Timor Leste (Antara, 10/09/09). Tulisan ini mencoba mengulas kemungkinan kemana arah kasus ini akan berakhir – dari  sudut pandang hukum internasional.

Hukum internasional mengenal adanya hak dari sebuah negara untuk menjalankan yurisdiksi kriminalnya berdasarkan prinsip “passive personality”. Prinsip ini memberikan kesempatan pada negara untuk mengadili orang asing bila warga negaranya adalah korban dari tindak kriminal yang dilakukan oleh orang asing itu, meskipun tindak kriminal itu terjadi di luar wilayah negara tersebut.  Meskipun pelaksanaan prinsip ini dianggap sebagai pelaksanaan dari tugas negara dalam melindungi kepentingan warga negaranya, namun dalam prakteknya pelaksanaan prinsip ini banyak menimbulkan kontroversi.

Ketegangan antara AS dan Italia pernah terjadi dalam kasus pembajakan kapal pesiar Achille Lauro yang berbendera Italia dan mengakibatkan terbunuhnya warga negara AS, Leon Klinghoffer. AS merasa memiliki yurisdiksi untuk mengadili pelaku pembajakan, namun Italia menolak untuk mengekstradisi mereka karena juga merasa memiliki yurisdiksi. Kasus yang paling kontroversial adalah  sewaktu AS menangkap Presiden Panama Manuel Noriega langsung di negaranya sendiri. Alasan AS diantaranya adalah karena Noriega telah menyatakan perang terhadap AS dan oleh karena itu mengancam keselamatan sebanyak 35.000 warga negara AS yang ada di Panama.

Sampai saat ini belum ada kesepakatan dalam hukum internasional mengenai dalam kondisi seperti apa prinsip passive personality” ini dapat dijalankan. Pelaksanaannya pada akhirnya justru lebih sering menimbulkan ketegangan diantara negara-negara. Ketegangan serupa sangat mungkin akan terjadi antara RI-Australia, terlebih bila kasus Balibo Five ini sampai berlanjut dan ditangani oleh Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) Australia – sebuah lembaga penuntut umum yang dibentuk oleh Parlemen Australia.

Kemanakah kira-kira kasus ini akan berakhir bila Australia berkeras untuk melanjutkan penyelidikan? Saat ini penyelesaian diplomatik antar kedua negara selalu akan menjadi opsi pertama dalam mencari penyelesaian terbaik. Namun bila upaya diplomasi tidak menghasilkan jalan keluar, dan penutntut umum Australia menemukan cukup bukti untuk dibukanya pengadilan atas kasus ini, maka kedua negara harus merujuk kepada perjanjian bilateral yang ada. Berkaitan dengan yurisdiksi kriminal dan pelaksanaannya, kedua negara telah menandatangani Perjanjian Ekstradisi di tahun 1992 (sebelum pemisahan Timor Timur).

Perjanjian ekstradisi ini memuat jenis perbuatan kriminal apa saja yang dapat maupun katagori perbuatan yang tidak dapat diekstradisikan. Didalamnya juga diatur mengenai prosedur ekstradisi dan kerjasama antara kepolisian. Namun setidaknya ada dua ketentuan dalam perjanjian ini yang berpotensi menganggu hubungan RI-Australia, yaitu bila Pengadilan Federal Australia ternyata memutuskan adanya keterlibatan personil TNI pada peristiwa terbunuhnya jurnalis Australia di Balibo.

Pertama, di dalamnya memang tidak diatur mengenai kejahatan perang (war crime) sebagai kejahatan yang dapat diekstradisi. Article 2.1 hanya mengatur willful murder, murder dan manslaughter untuk katagori kejahatan terhadap nyawa. Namun Article 2.3 mengatur bahwa katagori kejahatan yang dapat diekstradisi tidak harus memiliki terminologi dan elemen yang sama antar pengaturan di Indonesia dan di Australia. Hal ini akan membuka kesempatan bahwa apapun namanya, kejahatan yang mengakibatkan hilangnya nyawa jurnalis Australia menjadi kejahatan yang dapat dimintakan ekstradisi.

Kedua, meskipun perjanjian ini memberikan hak kepada Indonesia dan Australia untuk dapat menolak mengekstradisikan warga negaranya, namun ada konsekuensi dari penolakan ini. Article 5.2 mengatur bahwa negara yang menolak untuk mengkestradisi warga negaranya harus – atas permintaan negara peminta ekstradisi – membawa kasus ini kepada penuntut umum untuk diajukan ke pengadilan di negaranya sendiri.

Bila kedua hal di atas terpenuhi, maka Indonesia akan berada dalam posisi yang sulit. Penolakan mengekstradisi pelaku kejahatan berarti sebuah pelanggaran terhadap kewajiban Internasionalnya. Sedangkan mengadili personil TNI yang terlibat nampaknya bukanlah opsi yang akan diambil oleh pemerintah RI.  Bagi pemerintah Indonesia, permasalahan dengan East Timor sudah selesai sejak diserahkannya laporan akhir dari Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) kepada kepala pemerintahan RI dan Timor Leste.

Itulah alasan-alasan mengapa penyelidikan lebih lanjut terhadap kasus ini berpotensi mengganggu hubungan  RI-Australia di masa depan. Hubungan kedua negara ini telah banyak diuji, sempat sangat memanas sewaktu pemisahan Timor Timur dan juga kasus diterimanya 42 WNI asal Papua ke Australia. Namun kedua negara juga telah membuktikan mampu menyelesaikan masalah-masalah tersebut secara damai.

Nampaknya pemerintah harus segera melakukan diplomasi yang lebih aktif kepada Australia, untuk mencari penyelesaian yang terbaik, bila tidak ingin masalah Balibo Five ini terus menjadi duri dalam daging.

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Sekali Lagi, Perlindungan WNI

RRIKemarin bersama-sama dengan bapak I Wayan Titib Sulaksana, S.H., MS. (mantan Direktur UPKBH Unair) dan Koesrianti, S.H., LL.M, Ph.D (Ketua Departemen HI Unair) diundang untuk menjadi narasumber dalam acara Dialog RT-RW di Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) Surabaya. Topik yang disediakan adalah ‘Perlindungan WNI di Luar Negeri’, sebuah topik yang sudah sering kita baca di Koran dan lihat di berita televisi, bahkan di acara infotainment.

Awalnya pembahasan akan diarahkan kepada perlindungan terhadap seluruh WNI, namun ternyata pertanyaan yang masuk melalui telepon interaktif banyak berkaitan dengan kasus-kasus perlindungan tenaga kerja Indonesia. Bahkan bapak Samin dari Nganjuk menanyakan tentang bagaimana menghubungi keluarganya yang TKI di Selangor yang sudah lama putus hubungan.

Masih adakah perlindungan terhadap WNI di luar negeri? Dasar hukumnya sudah sangat lengkap, mulai dari Undang-Undang Dasar, konvensi-konvensi Wina 1961 dan  1963 sampai pada Keppres dan Inpres. Siapa yang bertugas melindungi dan bagaimana perlindungan itu diberikan juga sudah jelas. Tapi mengapa masalah WNI di luar negeri masih banyak yang belum terselesaikan?

Pertama, masalah perlindungan TKI memang tidak mudah, kebanyakan upaya perlindungan tidak bisa dijalankan atau tidak efektif diberikan justru karena akibat perbuatan TKI itu sendiri. Pemalsuan umur, nama dan alamat asal dalam paspor membuat perlindungan jadi sulit dilakukan. Belum lagi cara masuk secara ilegal membuat kesulitan pelacakan.

Dalam masalah TKI, nampaknya pemerintah masih belum serius menanganinya. Adalah tugas Negara untuk memastikan pengiriman TKI telah sesuai dengan prosedurnya, dengan demikian adalah kelalain Negara bila ada WNI yang ternyata dapat melakukan perjalanan ke luar negeri tanpa melalui prosedur keimigrasian yang sah. Untuk itu mestinya Negara dapat digugat melalui mekanisme gugatan ‘Citizen Law Suit’.

Kedua, masalah perlindungan WNI lainya seperti pelajar, pekerja professional, wisatawan dan lainnya juga agak rumit. Hukum internasional mengakui adanya prinsip territorial jurisdiction dari Negara, artinya setiap kasus hukum yang terjadi di wilayah Negara asing akan ditangani berdasarkan hukum Negara tersebut. kasus David pelajar Indonesia di Singapura, kasus kekerasan dalam rumah tangga yang dialami Manohara adalah beberapa contohnya.

Terhadap perlindungan bagi WNI lainnya yang terkena masalah hukum di luar negeri, nampaknya pemerintah berada dalam posisi yang dilematis, antara memberikan perlindungan dan menjaga hubungan baik dalam kerangka non-intervention dengan Negara asing. Dalam kasus David misalnya, pemerintah tidak akan bisa mencampuri investigasi yang dilakukan oleh aparat setempat. Demikian juga terhadap beberapa WNI yang saat ini sedang menghadapi ancaman hukuman pidana mati di Arab Saudi.

Namun dalam beberapa kasus penyanderaan WNI di luar negeri seperti kasus wartawan Metro TV yang disandera di Irak dan beberapa pelaut Indonesia yang saat ini masih disandera oleh pembajak Somalia, nampaknya pemerintah Indonesia telah cukup menunjukkan upaya seriusnya. Menjadi krusial dalam kasus-kasus tersebut adalah apakah pemerintah telah menyediakan bantuan hukum dan bantuan lain yang diperlukan oleh WNI di luar negeri? Siapapun yang merasa dirugikan oleh kegagalan pemerintah dalam memberikan bantuan-bantuan ini mestinya dapat mengajukan gugatan hukum.

Kalau tidak salah dulu pernah ada sebuah gugatan CLS oleh koalisi LSM atas pemulangan TKI ilegal dari Malaysia. Mungkin kini sudah saatnya bila ada WNI yang mencoba menggugat pemerintah atas kelalaian memberikan perlindungan yang seharusnya. Mau?

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Kedaulatan di Blok Ambalat?

ambalatSebenarnya akhir-akhir ini masih sedang sibuk dengan persiapan keberangkatan studi lanjut ke Australia, tetapi banyaknya komentar yang mengusik  tentang Blok Ambalat membuat saya jadi ingin urun pemikiran. Beberapa surat kabar memuat berita tentang kapal perang tentara diraja Malaysia yang “menerobos” masuk ke wilayah Indonesia di Ambalat. Ada juga yang menulis opini disebuah surat kabar nasional yang menyatakan “kedaulatan” Indonesia telah dilanggar. Parahnya lagi ada sudah yang bersiap-siap perang dan mengibarkan merah putih di “pulau Ambalat”.

Masalah di Blok Ambalat sebenarnya bukan hal yang baru, sejak tahun 2005 ketegangan sudah terjadi disana. Sampai saat ini masih belum ada kata sepakat penyelesaian di antara pemerintah Indonesia dan Malaysia. Pertanyaan pentingnya, apakah benar Indonesia memiliki kedaulatan disana? Menjawab pertanyaan ini sebenarnya mudah saja, yaitu dengan menentukan letak geografis Blok Ambalat. Menentukan letak geografisnya sebenarnya juga bukan hal yang terlalu rumit, hal yang sulit adalah menentukan status hukum yang berlaku disana.

Dengan adanya putusan International Court of Justice yang menyatakan pulau Sipadan dan Ligitan menjadi wilayah territorial Malaysia, maka penentuan batas laut antara Indonesia dan Malaysia disekitar dua pulau tersebutpun menjadi penting untuk dirundingkan. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 mengatur bahwa Negara yang berbatasan laut harus merundingkan batas-batas lautnya untuk mencapai kesepakatan yang adil. Sampai tulisan ini dimuat, belum ada kesepakatan yang dicapai diantara kedua Negara.

Secara geografis,  Blok Ambalat terletak diluar jarak 12 mil laut dari Karang Unarang – sebuah elevasi surut yang dijadikan titik terluar bagi penarikan base line oleh Indonesia. Dengan demikian sudah tidak ada lagi “Kedaulatan” sebagaimana yang dimiliki oleh Negara pantai dalam laut teritorial maupun perairan kepulauannya.  Status hukum yang paling mungkin ada di Blok Ambalat adalah Zona Ekonomi Ekslusif (ZEE) untuk perairannya dan status sebagai Landas Kontinen (LK) untuk dasar lautnya. Berbeda dengan laut teritorial dimana Negara pantai memiliki kedaulatan, untuk ZEE dan LK yang ada adalah “Hak Berdaulat” untuk melakukan dan mengatur eksplorasi, eksploitasi serta konservasi sumber daya alam hayati dan non hayati di sana.

Ada perbedaan yang tegas menyangkut kedaulatan dan hak berdaulat Negara-negara di dalam hukum laut internasional. Kedua hal ini juga berpengaruh pada hak dan kewajiban Negara lainnya. Di wilayah kedaulatan Negara pantai dalam jarak 12 mil laut atau dalam wilayah perairan kepulauan (bila berbentuk archipelagic state seperti Indonesia) maka setiap kapal asing yang melintas diwajibkan untuk melintas secara damai (innocent passage). Namun pada ZEE dan laut bebas (dimana LK masih dimungkinkan ada), tidak ada kewajiban-kewajiban khusus sebagaimana diatur dalam lintas damai.

Tanpa mengurangi dukungan bahwa kedudukan hukum Indonesia atas Blok Ambalat adalah lebih kuat daripada Malaysia, ada beberapa hal yang patut diluruskan berdasarkan hal-hal yang telah dibahas diatas.

Pertama, karena belum ada kesepakatan mengenai status hukum Blok Ambalat diantara Indonesia dan Malaysia, maka tidak satupun Negara yang dapat mengklaim batas-batas lautnya secara unilateral. Kedua, karena letak geografis Blok Ambalat yang di luar laut teritorial, maka pelanggaran hukum yang terjadi disana – apabila ada – bukanlah pelanggaran atas kedaulatan NKRI. Ketiga, lintasan oleh kapal perang tentara laut diraja Malaysia diwilayah ZEE dan laut bebas semestinya tidak boleh dihalangi karena itu adalah bagian dari “freedom of navigation”, justru pengusiran terhadap mereka akan menjadi sebuah pelanggaran terhadap prinsip kebebasan berlayar ini.

Masalah penentuan batas laut memang tidaklah mudah, hal ini karena menyangkut kepentingan yang sangat besar didalamnya. Terdapat banyak kasus-kasus sengketa perbatasan laut yang telah diputuskan oleh International Court of Justice, kedua Negara tentunya dapat menjadikan kasus-kasus ini sebagai acuan dalam perundingan yang sedang berjalan. Ada banyak opsi yang ditawarkan, diantaranya adalah pengelolaan bersama seperti yang pernah coba ditawarkan pada daerah Timor Gap antara Indonesia dan Australia sebelum East Timor menjadi Negara merdeka.

Terlepas dari adanya opsi tersebut, selayaknyalah bila pemerintah Indonesia secara tegas menentukan status hukum Blok Ambalat dalam perundingannya dengan Malaysia. Pemerintah melalui Bakosurtanal harus sudah membuat peta yang memperkuat bahwa Blok Ambalat adalah terusan alamiah dari daratan Indonesia sehingga sah merupakan Landas Kontinen dari Indonesia. Selanjutnya, belajar dari kasus Sipadan-Ligitan – maka pemerintah Indonesia harus secara konsisten menunjukkan adanya “continues display of authority” disana. Diperlukan lebih dari sekedar adanya patroli oleh KRI disana untuk menunjukkan adanya effective control.

Nah, masih adakah yang menyatakan kedaulatan kita telah dilanggar di Blok Ambalat? Pelanggaran hanya akan terjadi bila Malaysia telah melakukan eksplorasi dan eksploitasi disana, itupun bentuknya adalah pelanggaran atas hak berdaulat Indonesia.  Mari kita berpikir ulang.

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Ikrar Pejuang Hak Asasi Manusia

lapindo31Hari Air Sedunia tanggal 22 Maret lalu baru saja terlewatkan begitu saja, seolah masalah berkurangnya sumber dan pencemaran air bukan lagi isu penting. Bulan depan, hanya beberapa hari setelah Pemilu – yaitu tanggal 22 April akan ada kampanye Hari Bumi. Hanya sebulan sebelum jadwal Pilpres – tepatnya tanggal 5 Juni akan ada peringatan Hari Lingkungan Hidup Sedunia.

Sayangnya hampir tidak ada Partai yang mengangkat isu ini dalam materi kampanyenya. Kalaupun ada, masih sebatas ide dasar tanpa ada rencana aksi dan komitmen pelaksanaannya. menyambut Pemilu 2009 ini, tanggal 17-20 Maret 2009 di Wisma Makara UI, Depok, diadakan Kongres Pejuang HAM dengan peserta dari 24 Propinsi yang diprakarsai oleh KontraS, ICTJ, IKOHI, JATAM, JSKK, Kalyanamitra, KontraS, LBH Jakarta, PBHI Jakarta, SHI, Demos, Walhi, YAPPIKA, PRAXIS, Foker LSM Papua, KontraS Aceh, Koalisi NGO HAM Aceh, Federasi KontraS.

Berikut ini hasil dari Kongres tersebut berupa Ikrar Pejuang HAM :

Kami, Para Pejuang Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM), berasal dari 24 propinsi di Indonesia, berlatar belakang sebagai korban Pelanggaran HAM, baik hak Sipil Politik dan hak Ekonomi, Sosial, Budaya menyatakan:

1. Prihatin dengan tidak adanya kemauan politik Negara menyelesaikan berbagai masalah pelanggaran berat HAM dan memenuhi hak-hak dasar rakyat..

2. Prihatin dengan tidak adanya upaya-upaya Negara untuk memberikan perlindungan hak-hak dasar rakyat dari krisis ekonomi, kerusakan lingkungan hidup dan rasa aman.

3. Prihatin dengan penghilangan makna Pemilu, yang hanya menjadi rutinitas lima tahunan, dan ajang bagi elit politik warisan Orde Baru, serta kelompok pro status quo untuk melanggengkan kekuasaan.

4. Prihatin dengan calon legislatif, bakal calon presiden dan wakil presiden yang tersedia dalam Pemilu 2009, umumnya memiliki latar belakang sebagai pelaku pelanggar HAM, pelindung pelanggar HAM, atau yang tidak punya agenda HAM.

Berdasarkan keprihatinan di atas, kami para pejuang HAM Indonesia yang telah menggelar Kongres Pejuang HAM bertempat di Wisma MAKARA Universitas Indonesia (UI), Depok, Jawa Barat pada tanggal 17-20 Maret 2009, menyatakan:

1. Menyepakati bahwa penguatan dan konsolidasi gerakan rakyat/korban sebagai jalan keluar untuk memperkuat daya kritis, daya kontrol dan daya tawar politik yang sejati.

2. Menyerukan kepada masyarakat khususnya pemilih, untuk tidak memilih caleg, parpol dan capres/cawapres pelaku pelanggar HAM, pelindung pelanggar HAM, atau yang tidak punya agenda HAM.

3. Menyerukan kepada masyarakat khususnya pemilih, untukmemilih caleg, parpol, calon presiden dan calon wakil presiden yang pro HAM dan pro rakyat, serta tidak mudah percaya pada janji mereka yang tidak punya jejak rekam keberpihakan terhadap korban/rakyat.

4. Mengajak kepada rakyat yang memilih golput, untuk menjadi golput yang kritis dan aktif dengan mengorganisir diri, serta melakukan pendidikan politik.

5. Mendesak Negara untuk memenuhi kewajibannya untuk menuntaskan berbagai masalah pelanggaran berat HAM dan memenuhi hak-hak dasar pada sisa waktu pemerintahannya. Atas nama kebenaran dan keadilan, Ikrar pejuang HAM ini kami peruntukan bagi perubahan Indonesia yang lebih beradab, berprikemanusiaan dan berkeadilan sosial.

Depok, 20 Maret 2009

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