Indonesia: UN experts denounce a mega tourism project that “flouts human rights” |
In one joint statement led by Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, experts highlighted the evictions of local communities and the destruction of homes, fields, water sources, cultural and religious sites, as the Indonesian government and the country’s Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) “prepared Mandalika for become a “new Bali”. ”
Farmers and fishermen have been evicted from their lands and have seen their homes, fields and cultural sites destroyed for the construction of a mega tourism project in Indonesia. VINCI, Club Med and Accor must ensure that they are not accomplices.https://t.co/ey4VmmtY3f pic.twitter.com/s3qJqcIqX3
– United Nations Special Rapporteur on Poverty and Human Rights (@srpoverty) March 31, 2021
“Credible sources have found that local residents have been subjected to threats and intimidation and forcibly evicted from their lands without compensation. Despite these findings, the ITDC has not sought to pay compensation or settle land disputes, ”the experts said.
The government’s goal is to create a huge tourist complex in Mandalika, which is located in the impoverished West Nusa Tenggara province of Lombok, with a Grand Prix motorcycle circuit, parks, resorts and hotels, added the experts.
To date, the project has attracted over $ 1 billion in private investment and is managed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral financial institution.
Lack of due diligence
Rights experts have also criticized the lack of due diligence on the part of the AIIB and private companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and report on how they deal with negative human rights impacts, such as indicated in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“In light of the grim history of human rights violations and land grabs in the region, the AIIB and the companies cannot look away and continue their business as usual,” the officials said. experts.
“Their inability to prevent and address the risks of human rights violations is tantamount to being complicit in such violations,” they added.
In March 2021, several UN experts raised their concerns in joint communications to the Indonesian government, ITDC and AIIB, as well as the relevant private companies involved in the project and their partners. States of origin, France, Spain and the United States, the statement noted.
“ Testing ” Indonesia’s commitments
Special Rapporteur De Schutter also pointed out that the Mandalika project places “Indonesia’s laudable commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlying human rights obligations to the test ”.
He added that the development of large-scale tourism which “violates human rights is fundamentally incompatible” with the concept of sustainable development.
Mr De Schutter insisted that “the time has passed for racing circuits and massive transnational tourism infrastructure projects which benefit a handful of economic players rather than the population as a whole”.
Instead, governments eager to rebuild better after COVID-19[female[feminine “Should focus on empowering local communities,” improving livelihoods and participating in decision-making, he continued, urging investors “not to fund or engage in projects and activities that contribute to human rights violations and abuses ”.
In addition to Mr. De Schutter, the United Nations experts who launched the appeal include the Special Rapporteurs on rights of indigenous peoples, on the situation of human rights defenders, and on suitable accommodation; independent experts on human rights and international solidarity, and on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; as well as the members of the United Nations Business and Human Rights Working Group.
Special rapporteurs, independent experts and working groups are part of what is known as the Special procedures of Human rights council. Experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not United Nations staff and do not receive a salary. They are independent of any government or organization and serve in an individual capacity.