This paper explores the potential impacts of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Indonesia and the EU, on human rights in Indonesia and on the state’s duty to protect human rights.

In April 2016, the European Union (EU) and Indonesia announced their intention to conclude an EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Negotiations were officially launched in September 2016.

To ensure a draft agreement will not lead to incompatibility with pre-existing human rights obligations, the report argues that CEPA negotiations should be based on a human rights impact assessment (HRIA). The human rights and environmental impacts on CEPA should also be periodically assessed ex post, leading to amendments of the agreement if there are negative outcomes.

The report has a special focus on the EU’s interest in ‘sustainable access’ to raw materials in the CEPA. The EU is demanding that Indonesia weakens regulation (such as export taxes, etc.) related to energy and raw materials. Indonesia is using such measures as part of its policy to boost domestic development. Foreign investors have already used (the threat of) multi-million dollar investment claims to ‘persuade’ Indonesia to water down or shelve proposed measures. As an overarching problem, economic activities in the raw materials sector are frequently linked to human rights violations.

This briefing paper is part of a series of reports highlighting the flawed and imbalanced agenda for the proposed Indonesia-EU CEPA that fails to move towards fairer trade that promotes equitable and sustainable development.

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