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Monday, November 16
 

09:00 CET

Addressing vulnerabilities of migrant workers: Covid-19 and beyond
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


SeSsion organized by the Working Group on business and human rights in collaboration with Migrant Forum in Asia and Migrant-Rights.org

Brief description of the session:
The session brings together the private sector, civil society organizations, government, and human rights advocates to discuss the specific vulnerabilities faced by migrant workers, particularly in the context of their mobility. It will focus on challenges faced by migrant workers in times of Covid-19 in two settings: (i) internal migrants in a country such as India, and (ii) cross border migrants in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. The session aims to identify lessons drawn from this crisis, discuss rights-based solutions to address concerns related to migrant workers, and discuss the role of governments, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and the private sector in ensuring that the rights and welfare of migrant workers are protected in times of Covid-19 and beyond.

Key objectives of the session:
  • To understand better the vulnerabilities of migrant workers both within a country and across borders
  • To explore practices that the State and the private sector can adopt to protect the rights of migrants in times of crisis
  • To discuss lessons learned and good practices in addressing issues of internal and cross border migrants 
  • To explore ways forward in ‘building back better’ post-pandemic

Key questions:
  • What are the lessons that we can learn in how governments addressed issues of          migrant workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and what could be the impetus for change?
  • How do we ensure labour standards are not a casualty in times of crisis?
  • How can states and businesses collaborate to build back better and prevent exploitation of migrant workers in supply chains?
  • What role could NHRIs play in safeguarding the rights of migrant workers, including in cross-border cases?

Background to the discussion:
Dwindling sustainable livelihoods is driving millions away from their homes, often from rural areas, into potentially more lucrative jobs in urban and semi-urban areas. Urban poverty, however, looks quite different from the neediness they face at home. Separated from extended family, migrants live on the margins of these societies, without sufficient access to the limited public welfare (including Public Distribution Systems) that may exist at home. In the middle of the crisis, India also weakened its labour code to create a more investment-friendly environment and in this process making workers even more vulnerable to exploitation. India has one of the largest numbers of internal migrants, emigrants and immigrants. Every single one of these groups faced acute vulnerabilities during the pandemic. Several thousand internal migrants walked hundreds of kilometers back home with all their belongings strapped to their backs, as without jobs it was unaffordable for them to continue living in urban areas.

Asian and African migrant workers in the GCC region were among those heavily affected by the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands lost their jobs and were put on forced leave without pay. At the height of the quarantine restrictions, their mobility was restricted in multiple ways – unable to change employers, accessing justice mechanisms, unable to return home as airports were closed, and reluctant to return home as it would mean losing due wages and entitlements. There have been some significant reforms to the Kafala (sponsorship) system, but the power equation remains predominantly in favour of employers. Migrants were excluded in the responses developed by countries of destination to address the pandemic. As borders opened up and governments started repatriating workers, many were sent home without their salaries or end of service benefits.


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for William Gois

William Gois

Regional Coordinator, Migrant Forum in Asia

Speakers
avatar for Vani Saraswathi

Vani Saraswathi

Associate Editor and Director of Projects, Migrant-Rights.Org
Vani Saraswathi is the Associate Editor and Director of Projects, Migrant-Rights.org and the author of Stories of Origin: The Invisible Lives of Migrants in the Gulf. The book is an anthology of reporting from seven origin countries over a period of three years.Vani moved to Qatar in 1999, working with several local and regional publications, and launching some of Qatar’s leading periodicals during her 17-year stint there. During her stay in... Read More →
avatar for Sanjay Kumar Verma

Sanjay Kumar Verma

Sr. President & Unit Head, Birla Cellulose- Aditya Birla Group
Sanjay Kumar Verma is Sr. President & Unit Head of Birla Cellulose – a large , Modern Viscose Staple Fiber Manufacturing facility of Grasim Industries Limited –Flag ship companies of Aditya Birla Group of India. He has been associated with Textile Industry for over 30 years which... Read More →
avatar for Namrata Raju

Namrata Raju

India Director, Equidem
Namrata, an experienced labour migration expert, leads Equidem’s India work and collaborates closely with Equidem’s initiatives across South Asia, South East Asia, East Africa and the GCC. With over a decade of research experience, Namrata has worked on a range of labour migration... Read More →


Monday November 16, 2020 09:00 - 10:15 CET
Plenary Room

10:30 CET

Regional trends and dialogue: Africa
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.

Session organized by the Working Group on Business & Human Rights and OHCHR Business and Human Rights Unit

Interpretation in English and French

Brief description of the session: 
This Forum session is part of the Forum track on trends and challenges in promoting business respect for human rights in the context of each region of the world. Building on the Africa regional session held in 2019, This session will provide an opportunity to look into the latest developments on Business and Human Rights in Africa and to discuss how best to build on ongoing initiatives, led by a variety of stakeholders across the region, to advance corporate accountability. The session will consist of a panel discussion among key actors working to promote human rights in the context of business activities in Africa, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Key specific objectives of the session: 

The session aims to:
  • Address the role of the African Union, including its Policy on Business and Human Right in taking meaningful action to promote responsible business conduct by States and businesses in line with the UNGPs.;
  • Share good practices and learn from the experience of ongoing efforts led by governments, civil society and other  actors aimed at advancing implementation of the UNGPs in  Africa;
  • Discuss how to build on these initiatives to move forward.
  • Inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Background to the discussion: 
Human rights challenges differ widely across African countries and, over the past two decades, human rights abuses involving business actors have become an issue of increasing concern. While many communities continue to experience negative impacts of business activities across all sectors, Business and Human Rights (BHR) has been placed at the core of important policy developments and initiatives designed to improve accountability in the region.

The political momentum galvanized by the development of the African Union Policy on Business and Human Rights together with ongoing local and regional initiatives undertaken to advance corporate accountability offer a promising opportunity to affect positive change. However, these efforts have yet to translate into inclusive, informed and constructive action to achieve positive policy and regulatory results and improved human rights protection, at the national and regional level. This discussion will be aimed at clarifying how the ongoing developments and initiatives can be built upon to foster the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and enhance corporate accountability in Africa.


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
JK

Joe Kibugu

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

Speakers
avatar for Githu Muigai

Githu Muigai

member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Githu Muigai is current Associate Professor of Law, Department of Public Law, University of Nairobi; Chairman at the Council of Legal Education in Kenya; and Senior Partner, Mohammed & Muigai Advocates. He previously served as a Commissioner with the former Constitution of Kenya... Read More →
JG

John Gbodi Ikubaje

Political Officer, African Union
avatar for Gladice Pickering

Gladice Pickering

Deputy Executive Director, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Namibia
avatar for Abiodun Baiyewu

Abiodun Baiyewu

Executive Director / Co-Chair, Global Rights / African Coalition for Corporate Accountability
NN

Naomi Nwokolo

Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria
I am a very passionate human rights lawyer. I believe that fundamental human rights should be exercised by everyone regardless of age, culture, tribe or sex. It is the duty of government to protect the rights of its citizens and all parts of society including business should play... Read More →
avatar for Phyllis Omido

Phyllis Omido

grassroots environmental activist and co- founder, Center for justice governance and environmental action
Phyllis Omido, is a Kenyan grassroots environmental activist and co- founder of the center for justice governance and environmental action an organization that advocates for the right to a clean and healthy environment and socioeconomic rights of marginalized and ignored communities... Read More →
avatar for Tinashe Makuyana

Tinashe Makuyana

Human Rights Officer, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
Next to research and teaching work in CSR and Law with focus on Business and Human Rights, I am Project Manager of the International Business and Human Rights Arbitration Initiative, aiming at the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration



Monday November 16, 2020 10:30 - 11:45 CET
Plenary Room

11:45 CET

Harnessing international investment agreements to prevent human rights abuses
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Interpretation in english, French and Spanish available
 
Brief description of the session: 
The 2021 report of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights to the UN General Assembly will provide guidance to States on negotiating human rights-compatible international investment agreements (IIAs) in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The report will cover all three pillars of the UNGPs: (i) the duty of States to preserve regulatory space while negotiating IIAs so as to strike a balance between attracting investment and promoting responsible business conduct; (ii) the responsibility of investors to respect all internationally recognized human rights; and (iii) the role of IIAs in providing access to remedy to individuals and communities affected by investment-related projects. This session will focus on collecting input from various experts and stakeholders as to the key elements of this forthcoming report. COVID-19 has made the issue of reforming IIAs more pressing because the measures taken by States to deal with the pandemic may clash with their obligations under IIAs.

Key objectives of the session:
The session aims to:
  • Analyse elements necessary in IIAs to preserve regulatory space needed by States to respect, protect and fulfil human rights under international human rights law;
  • Discuss how IIAs could promote business respect for human rights;
  • Examine the potential of IIAs in providing access to remedy to communities for investment-related human rights abuses; and
  • Explore how IIAs could create better economic opportunities for marginalised groups, so as to contribute to the goal of leaving no one behind. 

Key questions:
  • How can States strike a balance, in negotiating new IIAs, in creating an investment-friendly environment and fulfil their international human rights obligations?
  • What are the most efficient options available to States to reform existing IIAs?
  • Should IIAs include human rights obligations of investors? If so, what should be their content?
  • Could IIAs be used by communities affected by investment-related projects to seek remedies against investors?
  • How could IIAs contribute to achieving inclusive and sustainable economy?

Background to the discussion:

States tend to use IIAs (including investment chapters in trade agreements) as one of the tools to create an investment-friendly environment. However, as shown in numerous instances including during the COVID-19, IIAs can also constrain the legal or policy space available to States to regulate the conduct of investors. They may create a regulatory chill and in turn discourage states to take domestic measures to fulfil their international human rights obligations. Moreover, IIAs can impact affected communities’ right to seek effective remedies against investors for project-related human rights abuses. For these and other reasons, Principle 9 of the UNGPs reminds States to “maintain adequate domestic policy space to meet their human rights obligations when pursuing business-related policy objectives with other States or business enterprises, for instance through investment treaties or contracts.”

Building on the recommendations of UNCTAD and other organisations, the 2021 report of the UN Working Group will unpack how States could implement Principle 9 to negotiate IIAs which are not only compatible with their international human rights obligations but also contribute to realising the Sustainable Development Goals. The report will also focus on certain relevant aspects of Pillars II and III of the UNGPs, e.g., how IIAs could reinforced investors’ human rights responsibilities and provide an additional avenue to communities affected by investment-related projects to seek remedies.

Additional background documents or relevant links:


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Coleman

Jesse Coleman

Senior Legal Researcher, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Columbia University
Jesse Coleman is a Senior Legal Researcher at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI). She joined CCSI in 2015, and focuses on the nexus of international investment and human rights law; investment law and policy; and sustainable investments in land, agriculture, and... Read More →
avatar for Matthias Thorns

Matthias Thorns

Deputy Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers - IOE
As Deputy Secretary-General, Matthias Thorns has a part in the overall responsibility for the management of the IOE Secretariat in its work to support the global business community in its representation vis-a-vis the UN institutions, as well as G20, G7 and other international initiatives... Read More →
avatar for Raymond Saner

Raymond Saner

Director CSEND in Geneva and Co-chair of the academic network of the OECD RBC Guidelines, Professor, Basel University and Science Po in Paris
I'm a student of the LLM Program Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. I'm looking for the internship or entry-level position.
avatar for Joe Zhang

Joe Zhang

Senior Law Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development
As a Senior Law Advisor for IISD’s Economic Law and Policy Program, Joe's work focuses on international investment law and policy. He has been advising developing country governments on international investment law issues, investment treaty negotiations, investment contract negotiations... Read More →
FL

Faith Lumonya

Program Officer, Trade and Investment, Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)
avatar for David Gaukrodger

David Gaukrodger

Senior Legal Adviser, Investment Division, OECD
David Gaukrodger is Senior Legal Adviser at the OECD Investment Division. He leads OECD analysis on investment treaties and supports an investment Roundtable that regularly gathers OECD, G20 and other governments. Current work is addressing business responsibilities and investment... Read More →
CC

Carlos Correa

Executive Director, South Centre
avatar for Lorenzo Cotula

Lorenzo Cotula

Principal Researcher, IIED
Lorenzo Cotula is a Principal Researcher in Law and Sustainable Development at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). He is also a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde Law School. He leads research and action on the legal arenas where natural resource governance... Read More →
RW

Romesh Weeramantry

Clifford Chance
avatar for Anil Yilmaz

Anil Yilmaz

Lecturer and Co-director of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project, University of Essex School of Law and Human Rights Centre
Anil is a Lecturer and a co-director of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project. She teaches and researches in the area of business, investment and human rights. Her research bridges the gap between corporate law, international investment law, human rights law, labour law and... Read More →


Monday November 16, 2020 11:45 - 13:00 CET
Plenary Room

12:30 CET

Data: Trends and progress of UNGPs @ 10 and measuring priorities for the next decade
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.

Slides from CHRB, S&P and WBCSD presentations available here.


About this session:

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights has launched its UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR project to chart a course for a decade of action on business and human rights. It will take stock of the first ten years, and then, most importantly, develop an ambitious vision and roadmap for implementing the UNGPs more broadly between now and 2030. In this context, and as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to highlight the urgency of ensuring corporate respect for human rights throughout value chains, the availability of reliable data is crucial.

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB), which is part of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) is an essential tool in providing this data. It is the only public benchmark of corporate human rights performance, assessing over 200 of the largest global publicly traded companies from high-risk sectors using a methodology that is grounded in the UNGPs. This year’s benchmark results, which will be unveiled during this session and are the fourth iteration of the CHRB, will allow us to look at company performance across topics and sectors, but also give insight into progress over the last four years.

This session will provide an opportunity to also look at the broader landscape of data available on UNGP implementation, in order to identify opportunities and challenges in UNGP implementation, with a view to inform priorities for the next decade of the business and human rights agenda.

Objective
This 90-minute event will convene key stakeholders from government, business, finance and civil society to identify what the available data tells us about where we are in terms of UNGPs uptake among business, and key gaps in data that must be addressed in order to achieve meaningful progress in the next decade. We will focus on two questions:
  • What does the data tell us? Using CHRB’s 2020 findings and including the perspective of other reporting initiatives and standard bodies - as well as an industry platform - we will explore what the data currently tells us on business and human rights.
  • What does the data miss? Convening perspectives from the investor community, civil society and experts, we will dive into how the data is being used and how we can address the challenges of capturing meaningful data going forward.  

It is our aim that the latest CHRB data and interventions from a range of stakeholders will provide not only a rich and insightful discussion to the proposed questions, but one grounded in concrete findings and evidence, so that we can continue to learn, align and take forward what is needed in order to accelerate business implementation of the UNGPs.

Moderators
avatar for Paloma Muñoz Quick

Paloma Muñoz Quick

Advisor, UN B-Tech Project and UNGPs10+
Paloma Muñoz Quick is Advisor to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' UNGPs 10+ project and Senior Consultant of UN Human Rights' Business, Human Rights and Technology (B-Tech) project. In these capacities, she supports efforts to develop an ambitious vision and r... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →


Monday November 16, 2020 12:30 - 14:00 CET
Virtual Room 2

14:00 CET

High level plenary
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.



Session organized by the UN Working Group on business and human rights

Interpretation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be available


The annual Forum on Business and Human Rights is the UN’s platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to assess the progress made by states and business in moving the three pillars of “Protect, Respect and Remedy” of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) from paper to practice.

The plenary of the UN Forum will provide leadership perspectives on the main theme of the Forum: renewed emphasis on a fundamental focus of the UNGPs, namely better prevention to safeguard people in the context of business activities.

Among the objectives, the opening plenary seeks to provide inspiration and help set the tone for constructive and solution-oriented dialogue over the three Forum days.

This year’s plenary session convenes senior leaders from the UN and international organizations working to promote responsible business conduct. A key goal is to reinforce calls on Governments and businesses to implement their respective human rights duties and responsibilities in the current crisis and beyond, and to demonstrate how international organizations are supporting them to advance in the current context.
It will also involve senior representation from Governments from different regions to share the experiences and lessons learned from their efforts to implement the UNGPs, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts.

The plenary aims to reinforce the message that business respect for human rights must be at the heart of corporate contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This year’s Forum feeds directly into the Working Group’s ongoing project to take stock of the first ten years of the Guiding Principles (with the anniversary coming up in 2021) and design a roadmap for the next decade (“UNGPs10+ project”).

Format:
The Plenary will consist of the following segments:
  • Opening remarks
  • Remarks by Heads or senior representatives of International Organizations
  • Ministerial panel
  • Reflections from heads of other organizations


Video statements:

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
On September 1, 2018 Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.Ms. Bachelet was elected President of Chile... Read More →
avatar for Elisabeth TICHY-FISSLBERGER

Elisabeth TICHY-FISSLBERGER

President, Human Rights Council
Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger has been serving as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office at Geneva since December 2017. Prior to her appointment to Geneva, from 2007 to 2017, Ms. Tichy-Fisslberger served as Director General for Legal and Consular... Read More →
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
avatar for Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Chair, The Elders
Mary Robinson is Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice in Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders.She served as President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She is a member of the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous... Read More →
avatar for Guy Ryder

Guy Ryder

Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder took office on 1 October 2012. He sees the ILO as central to promoting decent work for all and to working through tripartism and social dialogue to make a positive difference in the working lives of people everywhere, including and particularly in the... Read More →
avatar for Sanda Ojiambo

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal... Read More →
avatar for Asako Okai

Asako Okai

UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau, UNDP
Ms. Asako Okai officially began her role as UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Director for the Crisis Bureau on August 22, 2018. In this role, she leads UNDP's corporate crisis-related work and drives UNDP's vision and priorities for crisis prevention, response, and recovery.Ms... Read More →
avatar for Sanjay Wijesekera

Sanjay Wijesekera

Director of Programmes, UNICEF
Mr. Sanjay Wijesekera is currently the Director of Programmes at UNICEF Headquarters in New York. Prior to this, he was UNICEF Representative in South Africa. Before that he was serving as the Chief of Section for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and Associate Director of Programmes... Read More →
CK

Christine Kaufmann

Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
Christine Kaufmann is the Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, the intergovernmental committee overseeing the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the comprehensive international framework for Responsible Business Conduct... Read More →
avatar for Didier Reynders

Didier Reynders

Commissioner for Justice in charge of Rule of Law and Consumer Protection, European Commission
A father of four, Didier Reynders was born in Liège on 6th August 1958. In 1981, he obtained a degree in law at the University of Liège. Guest lecturer at the universities of Liège and Louvain, he has never really left the academic life until he became on 1th December 2019 European... Read More →
avatar for Sigrid A. Kaag

Sigrid A. Kaag

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Sigrid Kaag is Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (2017). Previously, she served as, among other positions, Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country; as UN Under-Secretary-General leading the mission to eliminate... Read More →
avatar for Silvia Lara Povedano

Silvia Lara Povedano

Vice-Minister of the Presidency of Costa Rica, Goverment of Costa Rica
Silvia Lara studied at the University of Costa Rica, where she obtained a Master's degree in Sociology. In her professional and personal career she has distinguished herself for his commitment and specialization in human rights, social inclusion, the fight against poverty and inequality... Read More →
avatar for Valeria Kolomiets

Valeria Kolomiets

Deputy Minister on European Integration, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine
Coordinates the activities of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the spheres of:European integration and policy coordination, donors coordinationhuman rightsfree legal aid systeminternational legal cooperationbankruptcyrepresentation of the state interests in the courts of Ukr... Read More →
avatar for Lolwah Rashid AL-KHATER

Lolwah Rashid AL-KHATER

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
Her Excellency, Lolwah R M Al-Khater was appointed as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar in 2017. Her Excellency was appointed as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs per HH the Amir Decision No 56 of 2019, in addition to her duties as Official... Read More →
avatar for Bärbel Kofler

Bärbel Kofler

Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
Bärbel Kofler has been the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance since 2016. Her mandate includes advising the Federal Government on Germany’s human rights and humanitarian aid policies. She liaises closely with a wealth of institutions... Read More →
avatar for Takashi Uto

Takashi Uto

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
Mr. Uto was appointed as State Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), in September 2020. He belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and is a member of the House of Councilors.Previously, he served in various positions including... Read More →
avatar for Sharan Burrow

Sharan Burrow

General Secretary, ITUC
Sharan Burrow is General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a... Read More →
avatar for Alice Mogwe

Alice Mogwe

President, International Federation for Human Rights and Director, DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
Alice Mogwe has been a human rights activist since the 1990s. Her academic background is in law, public policy, African studies and mediation. Her work has included active engagement domestically, regionally and internationally with civil society, governments and regional and international... Read More →
avatar for Roberto Suárez Santos

Roberto Suárez Santos

Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
Roberto Suárez Santos was appointed Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) on 26 October 2018, having held the post of Deputy Secretary-General since December 2012.Prior to joining the IOE, Roberto was ILO Programme Director for the promotion of youth... Read More →
avatar for John W. H. Denton AO

John W. H. Denton AO

Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)- The World Business Organization
John W.H. Denton AO is the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He is a global business leader and international advisor on policy and a legal expert on international trade and investment.He is also a Board member of the United Nations Global Compact and... Read More →
avatar for Joseph Wilde-Ramsing

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing

Senior Researcher, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and OECD Watch
Senior Researcher, SOMO, and Coordinator, OECD Watch networkDr. Joseph Wilde-Ramsing, Ph.D., was born in Wilmington, North Carolina (USA). In 2001, Joseph graduated from the University of North Carolina with two Bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish, both with honors... Read More →



Monday November 16, 2020 14:00 - 16:00 CET
Plenary Room

16:00 CET

Preventing abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the business context: a key issue for responsible business and sustainable development
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs; Forest Peoples Programme, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Peace Brigades International (PBI), Indigenous Peoples Rights International, Oxfam and Indigenous Peoples’ Center for Documentation (DOCIP), in collaboration with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish available

Brief description of the session

The session will highlight the drivers and root causes of business-related abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and will reflect on what is needed in order to achieve real change on the ground.
It will reflect on the effects of the pandemic to indigenous peoples, local communities and Afro-descendants including the roll-back of rights in many country contexts, the increased intimidation and attacks on human rights defenders and the disproportionate impact on indigenous women. The roundtable will focus on the prevention of abuses to Indigenous Peoples rights, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) including Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), an international human rights standard that emerges from the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination, as well as to their land, territories and resources. Under international law, Governments and businesses alike have the duty to protect and respect the rights of indigenous peoples, as well the responsibility to ensure appropriate remedy for past and continuing violations. During the discussion, we will also examine how Indigenous Peoples are increasingly developing their own FPIC protocols. These provide guidance to States and businesses on how Indigenous Peoples in that particular context and community want to be consulted with, as per their rights to self-determination and customary decision-making practices. States and businesses must respect these protocols . These protocols reflect the community's identity, culture, ways of life and the interconnection of land, peoples and nature . They highlight the central importance of respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including their self-determination right to decide their own plans, priorities and visions for their futures and the related right of communities to make decisions on externally proposed projects in or near their territories.


Key objectives of the session
• Highlight cases from the ground where Indigenous Peoples rights are not respected, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify factors for an enabling environment for respecting indigenous peoples’ rights;
• Raise awareness about the existence, scope and processes for realising the right to FPIC consistent with the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned;
• Explore how States can more effectively protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and indigenous defenders;
• Explore how business could further conduct human rights due diligence to prevent Indigenous Peoples rights abuse, especially in the context of the exercise of their rights to land and natural resources.

Background to the discussion

Despite international and national regulatory frameworks, as well as voluntary frameworks adopted by businesses, abuses of the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities and Afro-descendants are systemic in the agricultural and mining sectors as well as other business sectors. Attempts to boost the economy and recovery during Covid-19 has seen the roll-back of rights in many country contexts. This has resulted both in the manifestation of new human rights violations, aggravated existing human rights abuses suffered by indigenous peoples, and has disproportionately affected women.

Impacts experienced by indigenous peoples during the pandemic have been wide-ranging, such as increased land grabs, restrictions in accessing their customary lands, territories and resources, and continued disregard for their rights to self-determination and self-governance. This has led to increased food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and an abhorrent increase in intimidation, criminalisation, violence and killings of human rights, land and environmental defenders. These abuses further threaten indigenous peoples’ right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations.

Indigenous peoples around the world have already responded to the pandemic by using their self-determined protection mechanisms, traditional medicine, control of their territory, and have taken advanced measures to seal off their villages or to retreat further into nature to avoid contact. However, not all indigenous peoples are able to draw on their collective protection mechanisms because they do not have their customary rights to their lands, territories and resources respected by states or businesses. Restriction of movement and the increased presence of private security forces, police and the army have escalated tensions, fear of and occurrences of attacks against human rights defenders.

Additional background documents



Speakers
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →



Monday November 16, 2020 16:00 - 17:15 CET
Plenary Room

16:00 CET

UN Human Rights B-Tech Project: A smart mix of measures for the responsible use of technology in re-building the global economy
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by OHCHR B-Tech Project in cooperation with GANHRI

Brief description of the session 
The State duty to protect against human rights abuses by business including from the tech sector requires states to adopt appropriate measures to prevent and address such abuses. States should consider the “full range of permissible preventative and remedial measures, including policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication” (UNGP1). Pillar I of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) Pillar I reflects human rights obligations that states have under international human rights law. Therefore, the UNGPs provide a useful roadmap for governments in addressing technology-related human rights issues. Building back better needs to focus on those individuals and communities most at risk. Through a smart-mix of measures, the State has a critical role in ensuring good corporate conduct, facilitating multi-stakeholder engagement, and driving the corporate responsibility to respect through measures that foster the uptake of human rights due diligence among technology companies. In line with the State duty to protect Human Rights, States should take effective action to prevent and ensure remedy for harm connected to the conduct of technology companies

Key objectives of the session 
  •  Discuss the “smart mix of measures” in line with the State duty to protect human rights in the context of digital technologies
  • Exploring regulatory and policy options for States to incentivize the tech sector to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights through a “smart mix of measures” addressing adverse human rights impacts in the technology sector
  • Outline the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the “smart mix of measures” for promoting the respect for human rights in the technology sector
  • Identifying examples of selected States‘ attempts to address these issues in their NAPs or domestic policy
  • Discussing examples of policy incentives for rights-respecting business conduct in the tech sector and examples of responsible public procurement processes for digital products/services

Key questions  
  • How can the UNGPs strengthen the responsible development and use of technology to prevent human rights abuses arising in the context of rapid technological transformation?
  • What could a smart-mix of measures look like for addressing adverse human rights impacts stemming from the use of technology when building back the global economy?
  • How can mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and/or National Action Plans or Business and Human Rights foster human rights in the technology sector?
  • What is the role of NHRIs in influencing public policies aimed at fostering company and investor performance and uptake of robust human rights policies, due diligence processes, and grievance mechanisms in the technology sector?

Background to the discussion 
In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, States must recognize international human rights law as the foundation for governing the development and use of digital technology. The B-Tech Project will contribute to addressing the urgent need to find principled and pragmatic ways to prevent and address human rights harms connected with the development of digital technologies and their use by corporate, government and non-governmental actors, including individual users. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide a comprehensive and authoritative framework that can inform efforts by a range of actors, including governments and companies, to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy human rights harm related to digital technologies. The premise of the B-Tech Project is that using the lens of all three pillars – Protect, Respect, Remedy - of the UNGPs can help clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of States and the private sector in relation to specific issues.
The pandemic of Covid-19 has shown that technology can play a vital role in managing public health, yet the use of technological solutions in the state-business nexus comes with opportunities and challenges that need to be managed responsibly. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated a range of inequalities and vulnerabilities that are present in most current business models, including in the tech industry. The UNGPs provide a useful roadmap for tackling technology-related human rights issues from a government perspective. The experiences and insights emerging from the use of technology for managing the pandemic can offer important lessons for governing adverse human rights impacts of technological use responsibly in other daily business settings and future crisis-scenarios.

The German Institute for Human Rights has recently published a study about the corporate responsibility of technology companies to respect human rights in the data economy.
 

Moderators
avatar for Lene Wendland

Lene Wendland

Chief, Business and Human Rights, OHCHR
Lene Wendland is Chief of the Business and Human Rights Unit in UN Human Rights. She was part of the team of former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, and contributed to the development and drafting of the UN Guiding... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Deniz Utlu

Deniz Utlu

Senior Policy Advisor / Chair, German Institute for Human Rights / Business and human rights working group of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions
Deniz Utlu is a Senior Policy Advisor at the German Institute for Human Rights in the field of business and human rights, currently chairing the business and human rights working group of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. His special areas of focus include... Read More →
avatar for Eva Grambye

Eva Grambye

Head of International Division & Deputy Executive Director, Danish Institute for Human Rights
avatar for Remy Friedmann

Remy Friedmann

Senior Advisor, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Rémy Friedmann is Senior Advisor on business and human rights at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs since 2011.He was also the chair, between 2014 and 2019, of the Board of Directors of the association of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service... Read More →
avatar for Gbenga Sesan

Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African social enterprise working on digital inclusion and digital rights through its offices in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society... Read More →
avatar for Yves Nissim

Yves Nissim

VP Head of transformation and operation in CSR, Orange
Yves is deputy Chief CSR Officer of the Orange Group. His main field of expertise is Group CSR transformation, CSR reporting for the Group, stake holder dialogue and Human rights. He has carried Stake holder dialogue based on Orange CSR Strategy, in the main countries of the Orange... Read More →


Monday November 16, 2020 16:00 - 17:15 CET
Virtual Room 2

17:15 CET

Knowing and showing respect for people’s rights during crisis & human rights due diligence as a tool for resilience for future crisis?
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights 

Interpretation in English, French, and Spanish available

Brief description of the session
The UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) clarify that all business enterprises have an independent responsibility to respect human rights and that they are required to exercise human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for negative human rights impacts with which they are involved. The prevention of adverse impacts on people and the environment is a key objective of human rights due diligence.
The human rights and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated the dire need for companies to ensure that they are making rights-respecting decisions and that they establish strong human rights safeguards that anticipate and avoid negative impacts on workers and communities.
While the UNGPs set out the baseline requirement and key components of human rights due diligence, there is no simple one-size-fits-all or tick-box approach that will apply to all companies. At the same time, the human rights due diligence framework provided by the UNGPs is applicable and valuable across all sectors, issue areas, and locations. It guides companies in setting up principled, preventative management systems that centre respect for people and ensure that fundamental human rights are not left behind in crises such as the current global health pandemic and the resulting economic setbacks.

Key objectives of the session
As made all too clear in our current context, the need for faster progress in embedding respect for human rights in standard business practice is urgent. With this focus in mind, participants will discuss how the business community, including financial actors, can meet their responsibilities in times of crisis and use this moment to “build forward better.”
The session will feature insights from standard-setting organizations, companies, investors, civil society groups, and trade unions. The session will also directly inform the UN Working Group’s “UNGPs 10+” project, which is centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021. The project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Key questions
  • Are there lessons learned during the current crisis that can contribute to more effective human rights due diligence as we emerge from the pandemic? What new or reinforced challenges – from the perspective of companies, investors, civil society, and unions – have arisen? How can we address these challenges in practical terms?
  • What are the lessons learned from efforts to apply a lens of vulnerability to prioritize action?
  • Are there good practice examples of businesses using leverage with governments on policy responses?
  • What are key issues to consider for governments, business, and other stakeholders as companies rebuild value chains in a way that help realize wider and deeper implementation of the UNGPs?
  • How can meaningful human rights due diligence prepare companies for future crises?

Background to the discussion
The session will build on the key findings of the Working Group’s 2018 report  and of the 2018 Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, both of which highlighted that, while several “pioneers” are building positive practices around the various components of human rights due diligence, considerable efforts are still needed to mainstream corporate respect for human rights. In fact, recent benchmark and ranking initiatives have highlighted that the majority of companies do not meet the expectations under the UNGPs, in spite of growing awareness and commitments.
 
Translating corporate policies into real change in local contexts remains a challenge across sectors and locations, particularly in times of crisis. The fundamental objective going forward is to scale up meaningful human rights due diligence practices that are emerging and address remaining gaps by leveraging wider, more robust policy action and incentives.

Moderators
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Tony Khaw

Tony Khaw

Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, NXP
Tony joined NXP in Jan 2013 to lead the Social Responsibility/Compliance (SR) function. This includes the deployment of the program to the supply chain. Tony and the SR team, based in Singapore, is also responsible for supporting NXP’s compliance to customers’ SR programs. The... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Gillard

Tyler Gillard

Head of Due Diligence, OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct, OECD
Tyler Gillard is the Head of Due Diligence and Senior Legal Adviser in the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct. He leads the OECD’s work on due diligence in the financial, textiles, mining & metals, oil & gas and agriculture sectors. Tyler joined the OECD in 2009 to lead... Read More →
avatar for Shubha Sekhar

Shubha Sekhar

Director Human Rights, Eurasia & North Africa, The Coca-Cola Company
Shubha Sekhar has more than two decades of international & cross-functional experience in Human Rights, Sustainability, Sustainable Business, Responsible sourcing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Law and Government, giving her a unique and practical understanding of different facets... Read More →
avatar for Corey Klemmer

Corey Klemmer

Director of Engagement, Domini Impact Investments LLC
Corey Klemmer joined Domini in 2018 as the Director of Engagement. Her diverse experience with law, financial analysis, corporate engagements and issue-based organizing enables her to lead Domini’s efforts as a voice for change. Prior to joining Domini Ms. Klemmer served as an analyst... Read More →
avatar for Anton Marcus

Anton Marcus

Joint Secretary, Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union
DN

Diana Nabiruma

Senior Programme and Communications Officer, The Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO)


Monday November 16, 2020 17:15 - 18:15 CET
Plenary Room

18:15 CET

CEO panel: Closing the gap between corporate aspiration and action to respect human rights
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Background:
The COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the global movement for Black lives and social justice have laid bare ongoing inequalities across the world. Now more than ever, business and civil society must work together to safeguard and champion human rights in order to realize an inclusive and sustainable future.
Time has shown that real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be hampered if human rights are overlooked or neglected. Given more than 90% of the SDG targets are linked to international human rights standards, it’s critical that business embeds respect for human rights in their strategies and activities in order to realize an equal and fair world.

Conducting human rights due diligence as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) is the most important way companies can effectively meet the baseline expectation that they respect human rights and prevent negative impacts on people. It is the ongoing risk management process that a business must have in place in order to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for how it addresses its adverse human rights impacts.

Yet, as the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary this year, and ahead of the 10th anniversary of the UNGPs in June 2021, studies continue to highlight the persistent gap between corporate aspirations and tangible actions to respect human rights. 

Framing:
We are at a critical juncture to scale-up meaningful business action on human rights. This session will highlight the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' (UNWG) year-long consultation process to take stock of the first ten years of the UNGPs and design a roadmap for global implementation over the next decade to ensure we move from theory to practice.

Session Target: Underscore tangible actions business can take to move from aspiration to action (and outcomes) to embed respect for human rights, which in turn will be a significant contribution to truly realize the SDGs in the decade ahead.

Session Objectives:
  • Shed light on existing UNGPs implementation gaps
  • Convey from leading international business organizations that we are in a paradigm shift moment in terms of business accountability on human rights
  • Explore how pending international mandatory human rights due diligence legislation will affect the ways in which global businesses manage and mitigate human rights risks
  • Highlight emerging practice and learnings for companies to prevent negative impacts on human rights in the “new normal”
  • Feed into the UNGPs10+ stocktaking and roadmap

Organized by: B Team, Shift, UN Global Compact, UNWG, World Business Council on Sustainable Development

Speakers
avatar for Sanda Ojiambo

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal... Read More →
avatar for Michele Thatcher

Michele Thatcher

Chief Human Rights Officer, PepsiCo
avatar for Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President, Shift
Caroline Rees is President and Co-Founder of Shift. Shift is a non-profit mission-driven organization that works across all continents and sectors to challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and redefine corporate practice, in order to build a world where business gets done with respect... Read More →
FV

Filippo Veglio

Managing Director, World Business Council on Sustainable Development
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights


Monday November 16, 2020 18:15 - 19:15 CET
Virtual Room 2
 
Tuesday, November 17
 

07:30 CET

Preventing business-related human rights abuses in Asia Pacific: Actors and actions
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human rights in collaboration with UNDP

Brief description of the session:
This session will discuss the role of various actors under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in preventing business-related human rights abuses in Asia and the Pacific. The UNGPs envisage – expressly or impliedly – a role for a range of actors in promoting business respect for human rights: from States to international organisations, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), business enterprises, industry associations, trade unions, civil society organisations (CSOs), human rights defenders, lawyers, academics, and the media. Participants representing different actors will share, in a roundtable format, diverse actions they have taken (or could take) across all three pillars of the UNGPs to build an effective prevention net in Asia and the Pacific.

Key objectives of the session:
This session aims to:
  • Identify the full range of actors and their respective roles in preventing business-related human rights abuses;
  • Discuss concrete actions that various actors have taken, or should take, across all three pillars of the UNGPs to promote business respect for human rights; and
  • Explore how these actors can collaborate to complement and reinforce their specific roles and corresponding actions.

Key questions:
  • How can various actors operating within the business and human rights field contribute to preventing business-related human rights abuses?
  • What preventive strategies have worked in the past, and how can be built on those? Conversely, what has not worked in the past, and how can this be addressed in the future?
  • What opportunities for collaboration have been (or could be) tried between different actors to promote collective action aimed at embedding business respect for human rights, including to seek effective remedy?
  • Which actors, potentially able to prevent business-related human rights abuses, are missing or less active in the field? What could be done to engage them?

Background to the discussion:
As we are approaching the tenth anniversary of the UNGPs, we can observe increasing uptake of the business and human rights agenda in Asia and the Pacific. Thailand and Japan have adopted stand-alone national action plans on business and human rights, while India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Pakistan, and Mongolia are in the process of developing a national action plan. Moreover, South Korea has inserted a chapter on business and human rights in its human rights action plan and various other States in the region have introduced (or are developing) guidance, policies and legislation to promote business respect for human rights. One can also observe increasing awareness among businesses of their responsibility to respect human rights. However, for both States and businesses, critical implementation gaps remain. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, which serves as an urgent reminder that structural and systemic challenges are yet to be addressed.

In addition to States and businesses, the UNGPs envisage various other societal actors to play a critical role in promoting business respect for human rights. For example, CSOs, human rights defenders, and journalists can fulfil the vital role of monitoring and scrutinising the conduct of both States and businesses. Trade unions can strengthen the power of workers through collective arrangements, while lawyers could help affected individuals in seeking effective remedies. Further, academics can raise awareness among students and professionals about business and human rights issues and standards. The vital preventive role played by NHRIs is also well-established, e.g. they can build capacity, conduct investigations, facilitate dialogue, provide remedies, and make recommendations for law and policy reform. Finally, multilateral institutions at the regional or international level could facilitate coordination, development of cohesive policies and sharing of good practices.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Livio Sarandrea

Livio Sarandrea

Chief Adviser and Manager, Business and Human Rights in Asia, UNDP Asia-Pacific
Livio Sarandrea, is the Chief Adviser and Manager of UNDP’s project: “Business and Human Rights in Asia promoting Responsible Business practices through regional partnerships (B+HR Asia)”. A Human Rights lawyer with 20 years of field experience in Southeast Europe, Africa and... Read More →
avatar for Ali bin Samikh Al Marri

Ali bin Samikh Al Marri

Chairman, NHRC-Qatar
Dr. Ali Bin Saeed Al -Samikh holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Political Science from CAIRO UNIVERSITY, and was elected in 2015 for a second term as Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in Qatar which mandated with the protection and promotion of human rights both... Read More →
avatar for Daisuke Takahashi

Daisuke Takahashi

Partner Attorney / Steering Committee Officer, Shinwa Sohgoh Law Offices / Business and Human Rights Lawyers Network Japan
Daisuke Takahashi advises multinational enterprises on global legal compliance and sustainability including BHR/RBC issues. As Vice Chair of CSR Project Team at Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA), he contributed to drafting JFBA's Guidance on Human Rights Due Diligence. He... Read More →
avatar for Yuyun Wahyuningrum

Yuyun Wahyuningrum

Representative of Indonesia, AICHR
Yuyun is currently the Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), 2019-2021. She obtained her MA on Human Rights from Mahidol University, Thailand (2007) and now finalising  PhD at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS... Read More →
avatar for Khalid Mahmood

Khalid Mahmood

Director, Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan
Since 1996, I have worked for the Labour Education Foundation (LEF) in Pakistan. Our work is focussed on the objective of building a democratic labour movement in Pakistan. I am working as Director of the Foundation since 2001.I work closely in Pakistan with trade unions, factory... Read More →
avatar for Emmanuel Peni

Emmanuel Peni

Human Rights Defender and Co-ordinator, Project Sepik (PNG)
Author of a book called ‘Sibona’, Manu mostly worked in the Not for Profit Sector. He graduated in the area of Applied Science but mostly worked as a Social Worker and in Management. Manu set up a Community Based Micro Financing Organisation in West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea... Read More →
avatar for Sumi Dhanarajan

Sumi Dhanarajan

National University of Singapore
Sumi Dhanarajan is the Associate Director, APAC at Forum for the Future, an international sustainability non-profit that tackles complex sustainability challenges through systems change approaches. She is an international development practitioner specialising in the impacts of the... Read More →
avatar for Chanda Thapa Magar

Chanda Thapa Magar

Deputy Secretary General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
Chanda Thapa belongs to Magar Indigenous community in Nepal. She is currently working as Deputy Secretary General at Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiang Mai, Thailand. She holds more than 15 years long experience working on Indigenous Peoples Rights, women’s rights, gender... Read More →
avatar for Pensri Suteerasarn

Pensri Suteerasarn

President and Secretary General, Thai Listed Companies Association (TLCA)
Pensri Suteerasarn is President and Secretary General of Thai Listed Companies Association (TLCA). Members of TLCA are companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. TLCA has been playing an active role on advocating the corporate governance standards including the area of business... Read More →
avatar for Oyu Vasha

Oyu Vasha

Director-General of the Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Department, Government of Mongolia
Oyu Vasha, is the Director-General of the Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Department. Prior to her current appointment she was the Chief of Human Rights Division at the MFA. Since 1996 with her joining to the foreign service, Oyu has been posted to the Embassy of Mongolia to... Read More →
avatar for Gyaneshwar Kumar Singh

Gyaneshwar Kumar Singh

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Republic of India
Gyaneshwar Kumar Singh is an officer of Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP & TAFS) of 1992 batch. He has done his M.A. in Sociology and MBA and LLB degrees from Delhi University. Since August 2016, he is working as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 07:30 - 08:50 CET
Virtual Room 2

09:00 CET

Informality: How to approach “the elephant in the room”?
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with International Labour Organization

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish will be available

Brief description of the session:
Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), all business enterprises – irrespective of their nature in terms of size, sector, location, ownership and structure – have a responsibility to respect human rights. So far, large enterprises in the formal economy and their supply chains have been the primary focus of initiatives aimed at implementing the UNGPs. However, activities in the informal economy (e.g., those by micro and small enterprises, family-run businesses, informal workers working for informal and formal businesses) are a major part of the global economy, especially in developing countries. This session will discuss current barriers and potential solutions to embed the UNGPs in the informal economy in support of the decent work agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It will consider various potential pathways to achieve these goals, including the role of incentives to facilitate a transition to formality for both workers and enterprises.

Key specific objectives of the session:
This session aims to:
  • Discuss human rights challenges in in the informal economy and identify ways to overcome these challenges; 
  • Analyse the role of States and other stakeholders in facilitating a transition to formality;
  • Explore how international organizations can work with all relevant stakeholders to identify and address existing barriers to decent work and to facilitate transitions to formality;
  • Share good practices aimed at improving the rights of workers and reducing decent work deficits in the informal economy; and
  • Discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected informal workers and informal economic units and what measures could be taken to avoid similar challenges in future.  

Key questions:
  • What incentives should States offer to promote the UNGPs by actors that reduce decent work deficits and support transitions to formality?
  • What is the role of business enterprises in promoting the respect for rights of informal workers directly linked to their products or services?
  • In addition to formalization, are there other strategies which can reduce decent work deficits among informal workers in short, medium and long terms?
  • What lessons can we draw from how informal workers were impacted disproportionately by COVID-19?
  • How are informal workers likely to be affected by newer challenges such as climate change and automation? What should be done now to overcome those challenges?

Background to the discussion:
Informality is an integral part of the global economy. As per ILO estimates, two billion women and men (aged fifteen and over) work informally, representing more than 60 per cent of the world’s employed population. Moreover, about 81 per cent of the world’s economic units are informal. These informal enterprises tend to be for the most part small economic units: micro enterprises and small enterprises (including those without employees), and family-run businesses.

Informality puts the enjoyment of a full range of human rights and the protection of workers at stake: from the right to minimum wage, to occupational health and safety, right to health, adequate standards of living, rights of women and children, right to education, access to social security, protection from arbitrary or unlawful dismissal, freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, and access to effective remedies. Moreover, informal workers become more vulnerable in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, with States’ relief measures in most cases unable to reach them. In this context, it becomes vital to address decent work deficits in the informal economy in line with the UNGPs, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and other international standards.

Additional background documents (pdf format) or relevant links:

The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Vic Van Vuuren

Vic Van Vuuren

Director of the Enterprises department, International Labour Organization (ILO)
After completing a law degree Victor started his working career at the South African Department of Justice. Thereafter he moved into the private sector as a corporate legal advisor and human resources director at executive level in large corporates.Victor later helped establish a... Read More →
avatar for Marlese von Broembsen

Marlese von Broembsen

Law Programme Director, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
I am the Law Programme Director for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). WIEGO is an research-advocacy network that supports representative organisations of informal workers, especially women, to gain legal and social protection at the national and international... Read More →
TR

Trinanjan Radhakrishnan

Coordinator-Responsible Supply Chain & Sustainable Development, Oxfam India
My work focusses on the intersections of responsible business conduct and the SDGs. At Oxfam India, I coordinate the Private Sector Engagement programme's work on tea and sugar supply and value chains in India. Using data-driven, evidence-backed research, Oxfam India advocates on... Read More →
avatar for Lorraine Sibanda

Lorraine Sibanda

President, Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association
Lorraine Sibanda is the current President of Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) and StreetNet International. She is based in Gwanda which is about 590 kilometres south of Harare, Zimbabwe. Her life line business is cross border trading and goat farming. Prior... Read More →
DO

Douglas Opio

adviser, Permanent Mission of Mexico in Geneva
avatar for Innocence Ntap Ndiaye

Innocence Ntap Ndiaye

President, Haut Conseil du Dialogue Social du Sénégal
Madame Innocence NTAP NDIAYE est présentement le Président du Haut Conseil du Dialogue Social du Sénégal.Cette position d’état qu’elle occupe depuis février 2015 vient confirmer l’aboutissement d’un parcoursprofessionnel riche et varié.Diplômée en Sciences juridiques... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 09:00 - 10:15 CET
Plenary Room

10:30 CET

Effective corporate accountability as prevention
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish will be available

Brief description of the session:
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in its 2017 report to the UN General Assembly highlighted that remedies have a key role to play in pre-empting future human rights abuses: effective remedies should be able to discourage not only a given business enterprise, but also other enterprises from committing the same or similar abuses in the future. Against this normative background, this session will examine the role of effective corporate accountability in preventing human rights abuses by businesses. It will review the effectiveness of various accountability tools (e.g., litigation, complaints to non-judicial remedy mechanisms, and social campaigns) in achieving both specific and general deterrence. The session will also consider strategies to enhance corporate accountability for human rights abuses, especially in cases with transnational dimensions.

Key objectives of the session:
The session aims to:
  • explore what effective corporate accountability means in practice and how access to effective remedy contributes to such accountability;
  • examine the role of corporate accountability in preventing business-related human rights abuses;
  • assess efficacy of various strategies and tools being employed to hold businesses accountable for human rights abuses, including with transnational dimensions; and
  • discuss challenges faced by lawyers and civil society actors in pursuing corporate accountability and ways to overcome these challenges.

Key questions:
  • What does corporate accountability mean from the perspective of individuals and communities affected by business-related human rights abuses?
  • How is access to effective remedy related to corporate accountability and what is the role of effective remedies in preventing business-related human rights abuses?
  • In addition to litigation, what other tools and strategies are being used (or could be used) to pursue corporate accountability?
  • What are the challenges faced by lawyers and civil society actors in pursuing corporate accountability and how to overcome these challenges?
  • How could mandatory human rights due diligence legislation and the proposed legally binding international instrument strengthen corporate accountability, especially in transnational cases?

Background to the discussion:
In recent years, lawyers in several countries have tried various legal bases (e.g., tort law, false advertising, environmental law, labour law, criminal law, constitutional law, mandatory human rights due diligence law and international law) to hold business enterprises accountable for human rights abuses. Moreover, civil society organisations and human rights defenders have done advocacy, run social campaigns, complained to non-judicial remedy mechanism or pressurised investors to hold businesses accountable for human rights abuses. In many instances, such accountability attempts have involved transnational dimensions.

These corporate accountability strategies have had mixed result so far. But what lessons can we draw from these strategies in preventing business-related human rights abuses? This session will focus on the under-explored role of corporate accountability and access to effective remedy as a prevention tool, that is, in discouraging and deterring future abuses. Panellists will share their experiences of trying various corporate accountability strategies in different settings and in different parts of the world: what challenges they faced and what could be done to overcome those challenges.

Additional background documents:


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
MG

Miguel Guimares

Indigenous rights defender, FECONAU- Ucayali region, Peru
RM

Richard Meeran

Head of International, Leigh Day
Richard is Head of the International Department at Leigh Day where he has been a partner since 1991. He specialises in multinational litigation in which he has been instrumental for 27 years. His work has transformed English law on the liability of multinationals through the imposition... Read More →
avatar for Keren Adams

Keren Adams

Legal Director, Human Rights Law Centre
Keren Adams is a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre where she leads the Centre’s work on business and human rights. Keren has over 15 years’ experience working as a human rights lawyer and advocate in Australia and internationally. Prior to joining the HRLC, she was... Read More →
avatar for Sandile Ndelu

Sandile Ndelu

Advocacy Coordinator, Centre for Applied Legal Studies
Sandile Ndelu is a South African Black Trans Feminist writer, speaker and lawyer currently working as the Advocacy Coordinator at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). Sandile holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Writing Studies and a postgraduate... Read More →



Tuesday November 17, 2020 10:30 - 11:45 CET
Plenary Room

11:45 CET

Preventing retaliation through non-State-based grievance mechanisms
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by OHCHR

Interpretation will be provided in English, French and Spanish

Brief description of the session
For the third phase of its Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP III), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spent two years analysing challenges, opportunities, best practices and lessons learned with regard to a range of non-state-based grievance mechanisms in cases of business-related human rights abuse. In July 2020, OHCHR presented its findings to the Human Rights Council through a final report and accompanying addendum, in which several recommendations were made to enhance the effectiveness of different types of non-State-based mechanisms. Numerous recommendations concern how States and designers and operators of grievance mechanisms can prevent instances of retaliation against those seeking remedy, as well as people associated with them and people contributing to the effective functioning of grievance mechanisms (see relevant excerpts here). This session will provide an opportunity for different stakeholders to reflect on these recommendations and discuss how non-State-based grievance mechanisms can better ensure safe access to remedy.

Key objectives of the session
  • Enhance rights holders’ safe access to effective remedy in cases of business-related human rights abuse.
  • Explore the potential of non-State-based grievance mechanisms to prevent risks of retaliation when rights holders seek to access them.
  • Share good practices and methods for preventing risks of retaliation at company-based grievance mechanisms; grievance mechanisms developed by industry, multi-stakeholder, or other collaborative initiatives; and independent accountability mechanisms.
  • Discuss how best to implement the recommendations of the ARP III report and addendum with respect to preventing retaliation.

Key questions
  • How can the recommendations of the ARP III report and addendum help prevent retaliation when rights holders seek remedy through non-State-based grievance mechanisms?
  • What should designers and operators of grievance mechanisms be aware of and do with respect to risks of retaliation?
  • How could rights holders know what levels of risk they face when seeking remedy through non-State-based grievance mechanisms, and what can be done to mitigate these risks?

Background to the discussion

Retaliation and fears of retaliation (whether by State or non-State actors) pose serious barriers to remedy for business-related human rights cases in practice. Retaliation can take many forms, and can result in many different types of harm (e.g., physical, psychological or economic), the effects of which can be exacerbated for certain groups (e.g., women) as a result of entrenched social attitudes and discrimination. Further, it is important to keep in mind that those potentially at risk of retaliation may go beyond people seeking remedies directly and include people associated with rights holders (e.g., family members, friends, and human rights defenders), as well as people who contribute to the effective functioning of certain grievance mechanisms (e.g., interpreters and witnesses).

The Accountability and Remedy Project has therefore prioritised this issue for study at each phase of the project, noting that this risk is not confined to any one type of mechanism, but can seriously undermine the effectiveness of all categories of mechanisms relevant to remedying business-related human rights harms (i.e., State-based or non-State-based, judicial or non-judicial). In the latest phase of the project (ARP III), significant work went into (i) analysing the risks involved when grievances are raised in non-State-based mechanisms, and (ii) identifying ways of preventing retaliation from occurring in such cases.  The ARP III report and its accompanying addendum provide numerous recommendations for designing and operating grievance mechanisms in such a way to mitigate risks of retaliation (see relevant excerpts here).  The panel for this session will reflect on how these recommendations can be useful and implemented.

Additional background documents

The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Session documents

Moderators
avatar for Jennifer Zerk

Jennifer Zerk

Chief Legal Consultant, OHCHR Accountability and Remedy Project

Speakers
avatar for Krishnendu Mukherjee

Krishnendu Mukherjee

Barrister/Indian advocate, Doughty Street Chambers
Krishnendu Mukherjee is a barrister and Indian advocate and currently practises in both jurisdictions. He has extensive experience in advising, litigating and using non-judicial remedies in relation to business-related human rights and environmental violations. Krishnendu has a particular... Read More →
CD

Charline Daelman

Social Sustainability Expert, Amfori
avatar for Ganga Somasekarappa

Ganga Somasekarappa

Karnataka Garment Workers Union
Ganga is a labour rights activist based in Bangalore, India. She was actively engaged in labour movements against bonded labour in Punjab, India mainly in the brick kiln and agriculture sectors. For the past 2 years, she has joined hands with Karnataka Garment Workers Union “KOOGU... Read More →
avatar for Victoria Marquez-Mees

Victoria Marquez-Mees

Managing Director - Chief Accountability Officer, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Victoria Márquez-Mees, a Mexican national, is the first Chief Accountability Officer of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Managing Director of the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism which became effective on July 1, 2020. Before joining EBRD she served... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 11:45 - 13:00 CET
Plenary Room

13:00 CET

Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: building out the key components of effective legislation
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human rights in collaboration with SHIFT and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

Brief description of the session:
This panel session would bring together key global practitioners to provide their perspectives and expertise on some of the critical questions facing policymakers as they seek to construct MHRDD legislation that delivers both increased accountability for those whose human rights have been negatively affected by business and more and better effort on the part of companies to prevent human rights impacts in the first place.

Key specific objectives of the session:
The session aims to explore and understand developments on MHRDD at the EU level, while considering the perspectives and impacts on non-WEOG stakeholders.
.
Key questions:
  • What set of measures – including consequences, incentives, support and guidance – should be included in, or accompany, MHRDD legislation to ensure that companies carry out due diligence to the full scope of their responsibility under the UN Guiding Principles?
  • What considerations should be made to avoid a ‘tick-box’ approach to due diligence and to encourage the business behaviors and practices that deliver outcomes for people who may be or are affected by business activity?
  • How would WEOG-driven MHRDD regimes affect businesses and people in non-WEOG countries? What are their perspectives and interests in such legislation? External impacts of EU legislation – but also supporting measures to advance domestic BHR initiatives

Background to the discussion:
A growing number of states, particularly in Europe, are actively considering mandatory measures to advance business respect for human rights. In France, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, for example, we see governments adopting or exploring mandatory measures as part of a ‘smart mix’ of policy tools to incentivize business respect for human rights. We are also seeing enhanced use of customs controls to tackle human rights risks in global value chains, in the US with respect to forced labor and at the EU level on conflict minerals. Many of these actual and proposed measures go beyond reporting obligations to encompass comprehensive human rights due diligence and even include advances in judicial access to remedy for victims. Such measures are beginning to receive support from an increasingly diverse cross-section of businesses and investors, as well as from civil society:

The debate on the role of comprehensive human rights due diligence regulation at the EU-level was invigorated when Commissioner Reynders (DG Justice) announced a process towards introducing a legislative proposal for mandatory human rights due diligence (MHRDD) in 2021, which would potentially create a harmonized framework across Europe. While there appears to be support among stakeholders for such a legislative due diligence framework, there is no consensus yet on what type of framework would both meet the expectations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and incentivize and/or require the rights kinds of behaviors by business to make implementation meaningful in practice.

In addition, the debate to date has been largely Euro-centric. The views and considerations of stakeholders outside of WEOG have not been sufficiently included in the conversation.

The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade. In recognition of evidence of what constitute some of the strongest drivers for changing business practice, the project is dedicating attention to the role of more effective regulatory drivers and specifically mHRDD as part of the “smart mix” prescribed by the UNGPs for Government action. In this context, the WG has issued recommendations regarding the legislative proposal on human rights and environmental due diligence in Europe.

Moderators
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Claudia Saller

Claudia Saller

Coordinator, European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)
Stephen Cotton is General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), a global union federation of 700 trade unions representing nearly 20 million transport workers in 150 countries in the maritime, port, aviation, road, rail and urban transport sectors... Read More →
avatar for Francis West

Francis West

Business Engagement Director, Shift
As Shift’s Business Engagement Director, Francis oversees Shift's work providing expert advice to a select group of companies that are serious about human rights. Shift is committed to using the knowledge that we help generate to build broader understanding of the practical application... Read More →
avatar for Ruwan Subasinghe

Ruwan Subasinghe

Legal Advisor, International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
Ruwan Subasinghe is the Legal Director of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). He specialises in labour, human rights and international law. Ruwan represents the ITF at external bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for... Read More →
avatar for Theo Jaekel

Theo Jaekel

Corporate Responsibility Expert - Business and Human Rights, Ericsson
Legal counsel responsible for human rights at group level, across Ericsson's value chain. This includes issues related to responsible sourcing and the end use of Ericsson technology.
avatar for Rosa van den Beemt

Rosa van den Beemt

VP, Responsible Investment Analyst, BMO Global Asset Management
As part of the Responsible Investment team at BMO Global Asset Management, Rosa engages with investee companies to improve their practices, policies and oversight on a variety of issues including human rights. She also serves on the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for... Read More →
avatar for Lara Wolters

Lara Wolters

Member, European Parliament


Tuesday November 17, 2020 13:00 - 14:00 CET
Virtual Room 2

14:00 CET

Time for action: the role of Human Rights Defenders in defending rights during crisis and when “building back better”
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, BHRRC, ISHR, FIDH, Swedwatch, OECD Watch, The B Team, Frontline Defenders and Publish What You Pay

Interpretation in English, French, and Spanish available

Brief description of the session 
The session will start with an introduction by Anita Ramasastry, the Chair of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, including the announcement of the recipient of the 2020 Human Rights and Business Award, an annual award "for outstanding work by human rights defenders in the Global South or former Soviet Union addressing the human rights impacts of business in those regions". A short video about the recipient will be posted on the Forum webpage.

The session will then be split into two halves, with the first half focusing on the role that human rights defenders have in defending human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ways in which they should be included in the process of ‘building back better’. The second half will focus on the ideas that human rights defenders are proposing in the context of a just recovery, including how their ideas should be featured in plans proposed by governments and business.

The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Key objectives 
This session aims to:
  • Reflect in general terms on the gravity of the situation currently facing human rights defenders.
  • Consider the role that human rights defenders have in defending human rights during the pandemic, and the ways in which they should be included in the process of ‘building back better’.
  • Reflect on the ideas that human rights defenders are proposing in the context of a just recovery, in particular related to tackling unsustainable inequality, climate breakdown, and opposing a return to unsustainable ‘business-as-usual’, including how their ideas should be featured in plans proposed by governments and business.
  • Discuss the State obligation to protect human rights defenders at risk by encouraging and/or mandating robust human rights due diligence, by both international and national financial institutions and companies, that takes into account risks to human rights defenders, and reflect on strategies that some States are taking to reduce the possibility of attacks against human rights defenders.
  • Showcase emerging business policies, practices and processes (e.g. using leverage to support human rights defenders under threat, engaging with States on issues facing human rights defenders, introducing policies and processes that address risks to human rights defenders).
  • Highlight challenges and opportunities to strengthen protections for human rights defenders in the context of a just recovery.
Key questions
  • What has been the role of human rights defenders in defending human rights during the pandemic, and what are the ways in which they should be included in the process of ‘building back better’?
  • How should human rights defenders be included going forward and what are the positive steps taken by companies and businesses to protect them and address attacks against them?
  • What are the challenges that human rights defenders face when trying to fulfil their role within the framework of human rights due diligence, or generally participating in consultations and decision-making?
  • What are the alternatives that human rights defenders are proposing to prevent harm?
  • What are the new systems that would proactively welcome the voices and input of human rights defenders on different projects, and what are new approaches to business/investment?
Background to the discussion 
Threats to human rights defenders and to civic freedoms are global issues. Many human rights defenders are under threat and attack because they raise concerns about adverse human rights impacts of business operations, often in the context of large development projects that affect access to land and livelihoods. At the same time, the space for civil society actors to raise concerns about human rights impacts is shrinking, and human rights defenders face criminalization when engaging in public protest or civil dissent. Concerns are being raised by many actors about the role of business in contributing to attacks against human rights defenders or in failing to take action against such attacks. Questions are also being raised about the role of business in helping to protect human rights defenders and expand civic space. Business activities may pose challenges to many different kinds of defender populations, for example, indigenous peoples and women human rights defenders.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attacks against human rights defenders have continued and in many cases they have worsened as human rights defenders have faced greater risks due to some governments misusing the situation to further curtail civil rights to participate in public decision-making, and deploy state forces to repress legitimate, peaceful protests and obstruct access to justice. Their voices are crucially needed at this time, yet in too many countries they are being silenced through threats, dismissals, lawsuits, intimidation, violence and killings.

The importance of human rights defenders in the context of business-related impacts on human rights is recognised by the Guiding Principles. They highlight the key role that human rights defenders can have in human rights due diligence and in enabling companies to understand the concerns of affected stakeholders. In particular, they:
  • Urge businesses to consult human rights defenders as an important expert resource as part of their human rights due diligence, as defenders have a key role as watchdogs, advocates and voice for affected stakeholders; and
  • Urge States to ensure that the legitimate activities of human rights defenders are not obstructed.
Forward looking businesses are embracing their responsibility to assess and address any risks to human rights defenders their activities may pose - recognizing that our collective fate and that of our planet depends on human rights defenders being able to safely continue their work.
The inclusion of human rights defenders in government and business decisions and processes is vital and particularly challenging right now. Their parti

Moderators
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Deepika Rao

Deepika Rao

Programme Director, Cividep India
Deepika Rao is the Programme Director at Cividep India. Cividep is a Bangalore based organisation which works for workers' rights and corporate accountability. It attempts to empower workers and communities and to ensure that businesses comply with human and labour rights and environmental... Read More →
avatar for Vann Sophath

Vann Sophath

Business and Human Rights Project Coordinator, Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
I am Vann Sophath. I worked as Project Coordinator for Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) Land Reform Project from 2012 to 2017. I am currently the Project Coordinator for CCHR’s Business and Human Rights project since 2017, which have focused significantly on conducting research... Read More →
avatar for Maria-Isabel Cubides

Maria-Isabel Cubides

Program Officer Globalization and Human Rights Desk, Federacion Internacional de Derechos Humanos (FIDH)
Colombian lawyer and French jurist specialized on Business and Human Rights, with master degrees in legal anthropology and public international law. Multi-disciplinarity has been a fundamental part of career, giving an important added value to her work, which is marked by a participatory... Read More →
avatar for Mary Lawlor

Mary Lawlor

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
Ms. Mary Lawlor is the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders since 1 May 2020. She was born and educated in Ireland and is an Adjunct Professor of Business and Human Rights. She was the founder and director of Front Line Defenders (2001-2016) and Director of... Read More →
KK

Katrin Kvaran

Senior Adviser, The Norwegian Ministry of Children and Families
avatar for Phil Bloomer

Phil Bloomer

Executive Director, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Phil Bloomer is Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, a digital action platform that empowers human rights advocates in civil society, business, and government.The website attracts 4 million visits each year; tracks the human rights performance of over 9,000... Read More →
avatar for Sifiso Dladla

Sifiso Dladla

Mining & Extractives Lead, ActionAid South Africa
Sifiso is currently the Mining & Extractives Lead for ActionAid South Africa. He joined AASA in 2016. He is a former provincial coordinator of Mining Affected Communities United in Action, a social movement. Before joining AASA, Sifiso was a journalist with the Land & Accountability... Read More →
VV

Verónica Vidal

Deputy Director, Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC)
avatar for Maja Kristine Jåma

Maja Kristine Jåma

Politcal advisor, Saemiedigkie
Political advisor to the Governing Council of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament. Also Sami reindeer herder at Fovsen njaarke.
LL

Larissa Luy

Environmental and Social Risk and Grievance Response Manager, IFC
Larissa Luy is the Environmental and Social Risk and Grievance Response Manager at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group. Larissa has a career spanning over two decades working on projects globally with a focus in Latin America and Africa.
avatar for Lisa Isakson

Lisa Isakson

Head of Communication and Sustainability, Greenfood
Responsible of communication and sustainability at Greenfood Group. Greenfood is one of the Nordic region’s leading groups in fresh healthy food, with a history that stretches back 50 years. Talk to me about the possibilities and challenges we have have within the food industry... Read More →



Tuesday November 17, 2020 14:00 - 15:30 CET
Plenary Room

15:30 CET

UNGPs10+ and roadmap for the next decade: Business organizations’ perspectives
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Video highlighting business organisations' input to UNGPs10+
 
Compilation of business organisations' input ​​​


The session will aim to provide space for insights and ideas for the UNGPs10+ project from key business organisations. It is guided by the key questions posed by the UNWG for the project.

The session will be open all Forum participants, and those attending will hear from representatives of a business organisations reference group who work regularly with the UN Working Group to provide a business perspective on its ongoing work, and who have been working with their members to identify detailed feedback on the UNGPs10+ project:

  • AMFORI
  • BSR
  • GBI
  • ICC-WBO
  • ICMM
  • IOE
  • RBA
  • UNGC
  • UNPRI
  • USCIB

These inputs will be accompanied by a compendium of insights on UNGPs10+ project’s key questions, providing further reflections on the past decade and looking forward to the next.

In the second half of the session, a selection of UN Global Compact Local Networks (Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Poland, Colombia and Indonesia ) will give a roundup of feedback from their consultations on the UNGPs10+ project to provide detailed regional perspectives.

The session will end with reflections from the UN Working Group.

Speakers
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 15:30 - 16:45 CET
Plenary Room

16:45 CET

Accountability and Remedy when business-related corruption leads to human rights abuses
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish will be provided


Brief description of the session:

Following its report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council titled “Connecting the business and human rights and the anti-corruption agendas” (https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/44/43), this session will discuss the alignment between the business and human rights and anti-corruption agendas in relation to securing accountability and remedy for abuses of human rights that are linked to, or result from, corruption. This session will help identify future directions for further research relating to Pillar III of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), in relation to situations where corruption is connected to business-related human rights abuses.

The session will also help inform the Working Group’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade. Aligning how companies, States and civil society address corruption prevention and business and human rights as part of responsible business conduct is one priority area.

Key objectives 
A focused discussion on accountability and remedy, and Pillar III of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, building on the relevant elements within the Working Group’s thematic report, A/HRC/44/43. The focus will be on how States, business and civil society can advance goals of securing accountability and access to remedy in cases where corruption and business-related human rights abuses are linked.

key questions 
  • What tools can be used by individuals and communities to pursue accountability when corruption involving business actors, causes, contributes to, or is linked to, human rights abuses? What role can States play in ensuring such accountability?
  • What measures and good practices can be taken by States, business and civil society organisations to remediate adverse human rights impacts linked to corporate-related corruption?

Background to the discussion 
Corruption related to business activity has negative impacts on human rights. This session is looking at the issue of accountability and remedy in situations where corruption involving business entities also has a corresponding impact on human rights. Since the launch of the Working Group’s report in July, the Working Group has held two webinars focusing on Pillar I (the State duty to protect human rights) and Pillar II (the corporate responsibility to respect human rights) of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

These were titled, respectively, “Connecting the dots between the anti-corruption and business and human rights agendas” and “Beyond compliance – Drilling down on anti-corruption and human rights due diligence processes”. These webinars featured a range of speakers from the business and legal worlds who examined how the business and human rights agenda and anti-corruption efforts can be reinforcing and inter-connected. Having focused on Pillar I and Pillar II of the Guiding Principles, it is timely to turn to Pillar III and focus on accountability and remedy.

There is an urgent need for remedy for victims of corruption-linked human rights abuses. Individuals and communities harmed by corporate corruption and human rights abuses often have no recourse. Judicial corruption can also be a bar to accessing remedy. Using anti-corruption mechanisms to secure accountability and remedy for victims of corruption-linked human rights abuses is an evolving field. While corruption is not a victimless crime, the legal definitions of who qualifies as a victim of corruption-linked human rights abuses are generally narrow. Civil society organisations and the Working Group have observed that a definition of a victim that acknowledges the extent of the impact that corruption has on the enjoyment of human rights by people or communities impacted by such acts would help ensure access to remedy.

The session will examine accountability mechanisms that can address cases where human rights abuses and corruption are present. Targeted sanctions, asset freezes and visa denials are being used in different contexts and jurisdictions against individuals who perpetrate human rights abuses and/or engage in corrupt acts. This can be a way of holding economic actors accountable for corruption and human rights abuses, which are often interlinked. It is necessary to consider how this can be an effective tool to address human rights and corruption, and also how processes can be improved. Outreach to civil society organisations and the building of related evidentiary files remain essential to the success of this tool. The session will also focus on remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses that are caused by, or linked to, corruption. In some legal cases, corrupt behaviour has been used as an entry point to seek remedy for business-related human rights abuses. The session will examine the approaches taken in different regions to securing legal redress and remedy, and consider what needs to change, and what sectors need to be the focus of activity and reform.

Background documents 
1. https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/44/43
2. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/Connecting-business-and-human-rights-and-anti-corruption-agendas.aspx

Moderators
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Eady vuthy

Eady vuthy

Executive Director, Equitable Cambodia
Eang Vuthy is an Advocate for Land and Housing Rights and the Executive Director of Equitable Cambodia (EC), an NGO based in Phnom Penh and focuses on securing housing, land and natural resources rights for the urban and rural poor. Most recently, he has been assisting the affected... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Feinstein

Andrew Feinstein

Author of The Shadow World, Shadow World Investigations
Andrew Feinstein served as an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament in South Africa for over seven years. He was initially chairperson of the Finance & Economics Committee in the Gauteng Legislature where he assisted in the establishment of a provincial Treasury and... Read More →
avatar for Jimena Reyes

Jimena Reyes

Director for the Americas, FIDH
Jimena Reyes a Paris Bar human rights attorney. As FIDH's director for the Americas since June 2003, she has conducted investigations on human rights in Northern and Latin American countries, particularly on the rule of law, migration, business and human rights, impunity of international... Read More →
SB

Scott Brandon

Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State
Scott Brandon serves as Deputy Director in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) at the United States Department of State in Washington, DC. As Deputy in the Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs (MLGA), Scott supports MLGA’s central mission of advancing U.S... Read More →
avatar for Tun Khin

Tun Khin

Tun Khin was born and brought up in Arakan State, Burma. His grandfather was a Parliamentary Secretary during democratic Period of Burma. His mother’s grandfather was the first Judge in Northen Arakan State ,Myanmar.Although well-established and respected, alongside a million other... Read More →
avatar for Adriana Greaves Muñoz

Adriana Greaves Muñoz

Cofounder, TOJIL
Lawyer graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). I completed a Master's Degree in Public International Law and Comparative Law at Cardozo School of Law - Yeshiva University.Between 2013 and 2014, I worked for the Cardozo Law School (New York) Human Rights... Read More →
avatar for Scott Johnston

Scott Johnston

Associate Attorney for Human Rights Accountability, Human Rights First
Scott is a member of the Foreign Policy Team at Human Rights First engaging U.S. government actors on the ways that American law and federal policy affect human rights outcomes internationally. Scott manages the day-to-day operations of HRF’s human rights and anti-corruption sanctions... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 16:45 - 18:00 CET
Plenary Room

18:15 CET

Confronting racism and xenophobia - What role for the Guiding Principles
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Webex meeting (English only)

Description of the session
This session will examine how the expectations set out in UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) - the globally authoritative framework for the respective duties and responsibilities of governments and businesses for preventing and addressing business-related human rights abuse - can support efforts to address racism and xenophobia in a business context.

The Black Lives Matter movement and protests against racial discrimination and injustice have focused worldwide attention on the grave implications of long-standing, structural racial discrimination. While racial discrimination has been a longstanding concern for the human rights system, it has received less focus and attention on the business and human rights agenda. However, recent developments have starkly highlighted the need for companies to reflect on how racial discrimination relates to their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Responding to the events in the United States, business leaders and companies across sectors have made statements against racism – all welcome efforts as a broader business response to combat racial discrimination. At the same time, business responsibility goes considerably further than that, in how companies deal with race-based discrimination internally within corporations, who they transact business with, the approach they take towards customers, the messages their marketing efforts send out, and the broader impact on the society. Speaking out is an essential first step but should not be confused with what is expected of companies under the UNGP.

The rights to equality and non-discrimination are fundamental in human rights law. The human rights system reflects the deeper history that is being confronted at this moment, one that includes the legacy of slavery and its origins, legalized racism (i.e. racism enshrined in law), race-relations of the past and colonisation where business contributed to and benefited from racist laws, policies and practices and, in large part, has still not meaningfully engaged with this. In 2001, the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action acknowledged that people of African descent continue to be victimised by the legacies of trade in enslaved Africans and colonialism. To date, these legacies remain unaddressed. The international human rights frameworks for elimination of racial discrimination offer important guidance for companies discharging their responsibility to respect, highlighting the various forms of racism that companies should be aware of. Companies should keep in mind that racism and xenophobia exist in every society, meaning that all companies should consider how they may be involved with racism, as part of the context in which they operate.

The UNGPs expect companies to assess the risk that they cause, contribute to or are directly linked to human rights abuse, including potential or actual involvement with racial discrimination by their products, services or operations, through their business relationships. This means companies should consider racism risks as part of their human rights due diligence, taking a robust look at potential involvement in racial discrimination, going beyond public statements, philanthropy, or even assessments of diversity and inclusion policies and practices.

Objectives of the sessions
The session seeks to help shed light on key challenges and ways forward for companies to better prevent and address racial discrimination and xenophobia as part of their human rights due diligence, and what other stakeholders should do to support this objective.

The discussion will also help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred on the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Guiding questions:
  • What are key challenges for companies in assessing and addressing how they potentially exacerbate existing race-based discrimination in society, and what steps can companies take to eliminate potential involvement in racial discrimination across their activities?
  • How do companies overcome these challenges? What more should be done?
  • How can businesses play a role in the struggle for redress of historical injustices, including through reparation for historical injustices?
  • What practical steps companies need to take to eliminate racism within companies and address broader challenges in the societies in which they operate?

Moderators
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Salil Tripathi

Salil Tripathi

Senior Advisor Global Issues, Institute for Human Rights and Business
Conflict, human rights defenders, technology, teaching business and human rights, LGBTI rights, gender, freedom of expression
DD

Dominque Day

Chair, Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
avatar for Pregs Govender

Pregs Govender

Love Courage & Insubordination, Author & Educator
Pregs Govender is an author and teacher who has served as a trade union educator, an MP and A Human Rights Commissioner. She uses her book, Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination, to incite the transformation of unjust systems that destroy humanity and the earth.In SA’s first... Read More →
avatar for Merisa Heu-Weller

Merisa Heu-Weller

Chief of Staff, Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft Corporation
Merisa Heu-Weller is Chief of Staff in Microsoft’s Technology and Corporate Responsibility (TCR) group and also leads its Criminal Justice Reform initiative. TCR plays a vital role in realizing Microsoft’s mission by applying advanced technology to address critical societal issues... Read More →


Tuesday November 17, 2020 18:15 - 19:30 CET
Virtual Room 2
 
Wednesday, November 18
 

09:00 CET

Building back better to prevent climate crisis: What states and businesses need to do
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human rights and OHCHR

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish available.

Brief description of the session:
The session will highlight concrete rights-based actions that States and businesses should take to avoid the impending climate crisis. Various panellists will unpack the respective duty and responsibility of States and businesses under key international instruments such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The session will frame this discussion in the context of “building back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing rights-based climate solutions that give priority to people and planet over profit.

Key objectives of the session:
The session aims to:
  • Support efforts of States and businesses to build back better and more sustainably from the COVID-19 crisis, promoting a human rights-based approach to recovery efforts, including green stimulus packages;
  • Highlight the linkages between States’ duty to protect human rights and rights-based climate action in the context of building back better;
  • Unpack what the business responsibility to respect human rights entails in the context of impending climate crisis; and
  • Articulate access to remedy for individuals and communities affected by climate change.  

Key questions:
  • How can COVID-19 recovery and stimulus packages integrate inclusive, rights-based climate action? What good practices could States draw on?
  • What does the duty of States to protect human rights mean in the context of averting climate crisis and building back better and greener?
  • How should business enterprises integrate climate considerations as part of their human rights responsibility to respect human rights throughout their operations and in turn contribute to building back better and greener?
  • How can access to information, transparency and policy coherence be ensured, and what measures are needed to address corporate lobbying against measures aimed at mitigating climate change?
  • How can access to effective remedy for individuals and communities affected by climate change as well as the protection of environmental human rights defenders be ensured in recovery measures and beyond?

Background to the discussion:
As stated by the UN Secretary General at the launch of the UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 in April 2020, “coming out of this crisis will require a whole-of-society, whole-of-government and whole-of-the world approach driven by compassion and solidarity”. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the need for immediate, evidence-based action to protect both people and planet while building back better.

Preventing environmental harm and ensuring the full and effective implementation of basic human rights such as those to health, a healthy environment, and water and sanitation, is critical to prevent and minimize the risk of infectious diseases. Building back better from the COVID-19 crisis requires cohesive and effective laws, policies and measures to incentivize sustainable business practices. The response to the crisis also offers an opportunity to a just transition to an equitable, decarbonized economy that supports sustainable lives and livelihoods, especially for vulnerable or marginalised groups. States and businesses both have critical roles to play in this regard. All States have an obligation to pursue development that benefits both people and the planet and equitably distribute the benefits of economic growth. Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, including to integrate climate considerations into human rights due diligence processes.

Additional background documents:


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Cristina Tebar Less

Cristina Tebar Less

Jefa del Centro de la OCDE para la Conducta Empresarial Responsable, OCDE
avatar for Marcos A Orellana

Marcos A Orellana

Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, Procedimientos Especiales de las Naciones Unidas
Dr. Marcos A. Orellana is an expert in international law and the law on human rights and the environment. His practice as legal advisor has included work with United Nations agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations, including on wastes and chemicals issues at the Basel... Read More →
avatar for Sharan Burrow

Sharan Burrow

General Secretary, ITUC
Sharan Burrow is General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a... Read More →
avatar for José Luis Blasco Vazquez

José Luis Blasco Vazquez

Global Sustainability Director, Acciona
José Luis Blasco joined ACCIONA in 2019 serving as Global Director of Sustainability at ACCIONA.Jose Luis holds a degree in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense of Madrid and an MBA from the IE (Instituto de Empresa) and counts with more than 20 years of experience in the field... Read More →
avatar for Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron

Global Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé
Joined Nestlé in February 2020 after eight years as CEO at think tank and consulting firm SustainAbility. Was previously CEO at Fairtrade International. 


Wednesday November 18, 2020 09:00 - 10:15 CET
Plenary Room

10:20 CET

Transformative responses to sexual harassment and gender-based violence
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights 

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish available

Brief description of the session  
Gender-based violence (GBV), which includes sexual harassment and the threat of violence, is one of the most prevalent human rights abuses in the business context. GBV disproportionately affects women, girls and LGBTI people. Because of the intersectional and multi-layered nature of discrimination, GBV may particularly affect these persons coming from vulnerable groups such as indigenous persons, migrant workers, victims of trafficking, sex workers, domestic workers, persons of disability, and refugees. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation of GBV faced by women, girls and LGBTI people. In this context, this session will discuss various transformative measures that states, businesses, industry associations, trade unions, women organisations and other stakeholders could take to tackle the root causes of GBV.

Key objectives of the session 
  • discuss ways to strengthen the implementation of national and international standards related to GBV;  
  • showcase emerging business policies, practices and processes (e.g., adopting zero tolerance policy towards all forms of violence at work, conducting human rights due diligence with a gender perspective) to prevent GBV;
  • highlight challenge to strengthen access to effective remedy to the victims and survivor of GBV; and  
  • foster collaboration among different stakeholders to prevent GBV and promote substantive gender equality in the business and human rights field.

Key questions 
  •  What steps should states and businesses take, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 to eliminate GBV and address its root causes?
  • How can business enterprises integrate a gender perspective in conducting human rights due diligence throughout their operations and use their leverage to eliminate GBV in their supply chains?
  • What strategies should trade unions employ to prevent GBV and assist workers in overcoming gender-based discrimination?
  • What support should be provided to victims and survivors of GBV, and organization who work on these issues, in seeking effective remedies in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?  
Background to the discussion 
Despite numerous laws at national and international levels, GBV is prevalent in all spheres of life: at home, in educational institutions, at work, in sports, in markets, in public transport, in social gatherings, in cyberspace and in the community generally. Although all individuals may experience GBV, women, girls and LGBTI people are disproportionately affected by GBV. The Covid-19 pandemic has also exposed vulnerabilities associated with GBV. In line with the theme of this year’s UN Forum, this session will address GBV faced by women, girls and LGBTI people in the business context. In many instances, GBV is rooted in discriminatory social norms, gender stereotypes and patriarchal power structures. Therefore, eliminating GBV and achieving substantive equality would require tackling these underlying causes of GBV.
In 2017, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People. In June 2019, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights proposed a three-step gender framework (i.e., gender-responsive assessment, gender-transformative measures and gender-transformative remedies) as part of its gender guidance for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In the same month, the ILO adopted the Violence and Harassment Convention. This session will explore how states, businesses and other actors could draw inspiration from these international standards to take transformative steps to prevent and address GBV.

Additional background documents (pdf format) or relevant links


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Chidi King

Chidi King

Director of the Equality Department, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Chidi is the Director of the Equality Department at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the umbrella organisation for trade union national centres worldwide. Chidi has also worked on equality, employment rights and civil liberties issues with the UK Trade Union Congress... Read More →
avatar for Sudarsana Kundu

Sudarsana Kundu

Co-Executive Director, Gender at Work
Sudarsana Kundu is the co-Executive Director for Gender at Work Global, where she is working with a range of organizations to drive institutional change for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. Through her work leading UN Women's programmes on gender and governance... Read More →
avatar for Arianna Rossi

Arianna Rossi

ILO, Senior Researcher and Policy specialist, Better Work Global
I am Senior Research and Policy Specialist for the International Labour Organization-International Finance Corporation (ILO-IFC) Better Work programme. My work covers policy research, impact assessment and gender equality with a particular focus on working conditions and labour rights... Read More →
avatar for Nazhat Shameem Khan

Nazhat Shameem Khan

Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations in Geneva, and to the WTO and Fiji’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs
avatar for Leslie Norton

Leslie Norton

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Canada Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Leslie E. Norton (Diploma [Civilization and Literature], Aix-Marseille III University, 1985; BA Hons [English and French Literature], University of Western Ontario, 1988; MA [International Relations], Laval University, 1992) began her career in the Department of Foreign Affairs and... Read More →
CM

Claudine McMahon

Vodafone Group
ZP

Zainab Patel

Director of Inclusion and Diversity, KPMG India


Wednesday November 18, 2020 10:20 - 11:40 CET
Plenary Room

11:45 CET

National human rights institutions as “preventive watchdogs”
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights and Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish available

Brief description of the session: 
The Edinburgh Declaration and several resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council acknowledge the important role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in protecting and promoting human rights, including in the business and human rights context. The session will showcase various ways in which NHRIs have been working to engage governments, business enterprises and civil society organisations to prevent business related human rights abuses: from raising awareness to building capacity, supporting human rights defenders, making law and policy reform recommendations, conducting public inquires, and providing remedies. It will also consider the tools that NHRIs have employed to overcome challenges faced in this process and what more is required to support and strengthen the role of NHRIs in preventing business-related human rights abuses.

Key objectives of the session:
The session seeks to:
  • illustrate, through selected case studies, how NHRIs can prevent business-related human rights abuses by adopting a range of measures;
  • highlight the challenges and limitations that NHRIs often face in achieving this objective and discuss potential strategies to overcome these challenges and limitations; and
  • discuss what more is required to support and strengthen the role and ability of NHRIs in preventing business-related human rights abuses.

Key questions:
  • What steps have different NHRIs taken to prevent business-related human rights abuses in times of Covid-19 or generally?
  • What are good practices adopted by NHRIs in preventing business-related human rights abuses?
  • How could the internal capacity of NHRIs be built around business and human rights standards?
  • What could be done to enhance the independence and autonomy of NHRIs so as to strengthen their role as effective “preventive watchdogs” in the field of business and human rights?

Background to the discussion:
The important role of NHRIs in promoting the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and preventing business-related human rights abuses is widely accepted. In July 2018, the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/RES/38/13) requested the UN Working Group "to analyse further the role of national human rights institutions in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses, and to convene a two-day global consultation on these issues, open to all stakeholders, and to inform the Council by its forty-fourth session as appropriate". In line with this mandate, the Working Group invited NHRIs and other stakeholders to provide input. It also organised, in collaboration with GANHRI, a global consultation in Geneva in October 2019. Based on these and other outreach activities, the Working Group is currently drafting a report to be issued in June 2021.

The UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/RES 44/15) encourages the UN Working Group “to continue its work on the role of national human rights institutions in promoting business and human rights”. Against this background and in line with the overarching theme of the 9th UN Forum, this session will focus on showcasing various measures and strategies adopted by NHRIs to prevent business-related human rights abuses. This issue has assumed a critical significance in times of Covid-19.

Additional background documents and relevant links:

The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.




Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
AO

Austin Onuoha

Executive Director, Africa Center for Corporate Responsibility ACCR
avatar for Minwoo Kim

Minwoo Kim

Research Professor, International Human Rights Center at the GSIS, Korea University
Minwoo Kim is the Research Professor of International Human Rights Center at GSIS, Korea University and the Managing Director of Asia Business and Human Rights Center at Human Asia. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Korea University with a focus on business and... Read More →
avatar for Eunji Kang

Eunji Kang

Director, Business and Human Rights, Korean House for International Solidarity
avatar for Freddy Carrion Intriago

Freddy Carrion Intriago

Defensor del Pueblo, Defensoría del Pueblo (Ecuador)
Freddy Vinicio Carrión Intriago asumió el cargo de Defensor del Pueblo del Ecuador el 16 de abril de 2019.Es licenciado en ciencias jurídicas, abogado y doctor en jurisprudencia de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), además cuenta con estudios superiores en... Read More →
avatar for Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo

Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Human Rights Commission
Saunoamaali’i has a strong commitment to improving equal employment opportunities, particularly bringing a Pasifika perspective to human rights issues facing Aotearoa New Zealand.For 20 years, Saunoamaali’i has worked as a public advisor and social worker, advocating for the interests... Read More →
avatar for Tamar Gvaramadze

Tamar Gvaramadze

First Deputy Public Defender, Office of Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia
Dr. Tamar Gvaramadze is a legal professional, with over 11 years of cumulative experience, covering both managerial and administrative positions, as well as content-related analytical work at the public and non-governmental sectors. Under her management in one of the leading NGOs... Read More →
avatar for Mwambus Mwamba

Mwambus Mwamba

President, NHRI of DRC
DR

Dr. Rana Sengupta

Managing Trustee & CEO, Mine Labour Protection Campaign Trust (MLPC)


Wednesday November 18, 2020 11:45 - 13:00 CET
Plenary Room

13:00 CET

Business and Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe: Rebuilding trust for new social contract
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.

A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE IN RUSSIAN HERE.


Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with the Business and Human Rights Lab at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Ukraine and the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business 

Session in English only

Brief description of the session:

The session seeks to discuss business and human rights issues in the Central and Eastern European context and to provide a platform to exchange views and knowledge on the challenges to the effective implementation of UNGPs, positive developments and good practices among countries in the region building on the important work of the different stakeholders such as governmentals, businesses and the civil society sector. The session will showcase various ways and examples in which governments, businesses and civil society actors have been successfully overcoming existing challenges to the effective implementation of UNGPs. It will focus in particular on how applying a multistakeholder and inclusive approach and identifying and addressing relevant issues of common concern could be effective instrument to rebuild trust for new social contract. Keeping in mind the specificities and challenges of the Central Eastern European region, the session will firstly discuss positive regulatory develpments, such as national action plans and other initiatives developed and implemented in the region to promote responsable business conduct and support human rights due diligence processes in practice. The session will also look then at the devastating impact of the COVID19 and related social and economic crisis, including on decent working conditions and social protection systems in the region and will showcase initiatives to overcome these challenges and to “build back better”. Finally, the session will discuss challenges and opportunities for empowering victims of business related human rights abuses to seek effective access to effective remedy in though judicial and non-judicial mechanisms.

Key objectives of the session:
  • to illustrate, through selected case studies, how transparent, multistakeholder and inclusive approaches (bringing together governments, businesses, CSOs, HRDs, academics, NHRIs), the development and implementation of NAPs, and other initiatives to support businesses in their human rights due diligence efforts may enhance/improve corporate respect for human rights;
  • to indicate the most significant obstacles and opportunities to implement the UNGPs in the countries of the region with regard to addressing the vulnerability of workers, customers, suppliers and communities, especially in times of global crisis;
  • to highlight the risks of business-related human rights abuses topical for the region which have increased in  COVID-19 times, in particular as they relate to decent working conditions and social protection systems, and discuss strategies and good practices to overcome these challenges;
  • to discuss ways in which victims in the Central and Eastern European region may be empowered in seeking access to effective remedy against business related human rights abuses;
 
Key questions:
  • Why business should engage and advocate for reforms that would create a more conducive environment for responsible business?
  • What regulatory measures have proved to be effective in the region? What are the gaps and the challenges that still remain and how to address them efficiently, including through mandatory regulations?
  • Forced labour, informal employment, discrimination, unsafe working conditions, lack of effective non-state remedies to protect business related human rights abuses and other problems remain topical for the region. What steps have different stakeholders taken to address region specific business related human rights abuses related to work conditions and social protection, in particular in times of COVID19?
  • How can multistakeholder and inclusive approaches help in the development and implementation of NAPs and other human rights due diligence initiatives to ensure higher corporate respect for human rights in Central and Eastern Europe? What elements are essential to ensure that those initiatives really contribute to rebuilding trust and clear path for future discussion on the new social contract?
  • Are there any good practices in the region for empowering victims in seeking effective remedy for business related human rights abuses?

Background to the discussion:

Despite the fall of undemocratic regimes and the related positive developments, countries in the very diverse region of Central and Eastern Europe continue to experience a low level of awareness on business and human rights. This is due to many factors, including the absence of strong democratic institutions, shrinking space for civil society, corruption, ineffective systems of remedy for victims of business related human rights abuses, as well as a result of low level of trust among actors in society. The COVID 19 related economic crisis had a devastating impact on working conditions, which even before pandemic were not meeting the ‘decent work’ standard and social protections in a region that historically have been suffering from weak trade unions and labour rights, as well as ineffective remedies for business related human rights abuses.

The region specific challenges require better regulation, more effective enforcement of existing regulations and contextual, bottom-up and inclusive initiatives and strategies developed in collaboration all stakeholders concerned in order to implement the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) effectively, and improve human rights record of companies operating in the region The session builds on challenges and lessons learned on how States and businesses, in cooperation the civil society sector in Central and Eastern Europe are discharging their respective duties and responsibilities across the three pillars of the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework of the UNGPs.

Additional background documents and links:


The session will help inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stoc

Speakers
avatar for Olena Uvarova

Olena Uvarova

Head of the International Lab on Business and Human Rights, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Ukraine
Ph.D in Law, lecturer in the Theory of Law Department, Head of the International Lab on business and human rights at Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, member of the editorial board of the journal “Philosophy of Law and General Theory of Law” (EBSCO Publishing).In 2017 she... Read More →
avatar for Beata Faracik

Beata Faracik

Co-Founder & President of the Board, Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business
avatar for Liudmyla Denisova

Liudmyla Denisova

Project Assistant, Ombudsman of Ukraine
Ms. Liudmyla Denisova was born on July 06, 1960 in Arkhangelsk city.In 1989, she graduated from the St. Petersburg State University with a degree in Law; lately she studied economics (accounting and audit) at the Tauride Institute of Entrepreneurship and Law.From 1998 to 2001 she... Read More →
avatar for Elżbieta Karska

Elżbieta Karska

member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Ms. Elżbieta Karska is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Protection of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Director of the Institute of International Law, European Union and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Administration, Cardinal... Read More →
avatar for Arjan Dyrmishi

Arjan Dyrmishi

Coordinator, Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection
I’m the Executive Director and Founder of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Governance based in Tirana, Albania and the Co-coordinator of the Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection (SECWP). As a coordinator of the SECWP my role is to ensure coherence and... Read More →
avatar for Lyra Jakulevičienė

Lyra Jakulevičienė

Dean, Law School; Professor, Mykolas Romeris University
Short biosDr. Lyra Jakuleviciene is an international and European Union law professor at Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania). Over 20 years of her professional experience combines research, training and international consultancies on human rights, asylum and migration issues. She... Read More →
avatar for Marina Kapustina

Marina Kapustina

junior associate, bnt attorneys in CEE
junior associate at bnt attorneys in CEE, Bratislava Memberships: Slovenská advokátska komora (Slovak Bar Association)Language: English, Russian, Slovak, UkrainianBusiness and human rights regulatory compliance and litigation risks are becoming core concerns for many businesses... Read More →
avatar for Dominika Wierzbowska

Dominika Wierzbowska

Head of the Unit for CSR and NGOs cooperation, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy
A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics, majoring in international economic relations and specializing in international business. Since 2009, an employee of the government administration. For years has been specializing in corporate social responsibility. Juror of market competitions... Read More →
avatar for Natasa Bergelj

Natasa Bergelj

Head of the Human Rights Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
As Head of the Human Rights Department I'm also responsible for coordinating the competent state, business and private stakeholders in the process of creating and implementing the National Action Plan on BHR for Slovenia. We have almost completed our first cycle with the adoption... Read More →
avatar for Ekaterina Deikalo

Ekaterina Deikalo

Associate Professor of the International law Chair, Belarusian State University
PhD in International Law,  Associate professor (docent). Working at the Belarusian State University  on the position of  Associate professor at the International Law Chair,  (in 2014-March 2020 have been working  as the Head of the International law Chair)  Field of  research... Read More →
avatar for Stefan Jovanovski

Stefan Jovanovski

Head of Human Resources, A1 Makedonija dooel Skopje
I work in Telecommunications industry since 2002 in various HR related positions. Currently, I'm the Head of Human Resources in A1 Makedonija, a leading Telecommunication provider on the Macedonian market.My belief is you are only as good as the people around you, and my focus is... Read More →
avatar for Salome Zurabishvili

Salome Zurabishvili

Executive Director, Global Compact Network Georgia
Ms. Salome Zurabishvili has founded and been heading the Global Compact Network Georgia since February 2016. She assumed the position of Executive Director of the host organization of the GCNG platform, non-governmental organization CiDA, in April 2018.She is a Human Rights Lawyer... Read More →



Wednesday November 18, 2020 13:00 - 14:00 CET
Virtual Room 2

14:00 CET

Preventing conflict: what role for the Guiding Principles in peace and security
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


About this panel
This Forum panel will be centred on the UNWG on Business & Human Rights' new report on the need for heightened action by States and business in the context of conflict-affected areas and explore perspectives on 'what's next' for the field of business, human rights and conflict. It will also help inform the UNWG's project to develop a roadmap on business and human rights for the next decade (UNGPs10+).

Background
As part of its mandate to promote the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG) launched a project in 2018 to clarify the practical steps that States and business enterprises should take to implement the UNGPs in conflict and post-conflict contexts to prevent and address business-related human rights abuse. The starting point for this project: while it is well documented that the worst forms of business-related human rights abuse tend to happen in conflict-affected contexts, a better understanding of the practical measures that all actors should take is still needed.
To shed light on this question, the UNWG undertook research, invited stakeholders to provide inputs, and conducted a series of bilateral and multi-stakeholder consultations with States, civil society organizations, business representatives and experts in several regions of the world. The results of this work, with recommendations to governments, business actors and the UN system are now out in a report to the UN General Assembly, presented officially to member States on 27 October 2020.
In the report, the UNWG identifies and clarifies a range of policies and tools that States, alone or when acting as members of multilateral organizations, and businesses, could employ in conflict-prone regions to help ensure that business activity does not lead to human rights abuse and in turn stimulate or exacerbate conflict or negatively impact peacebuilding. Key aspects addressed by the report are:
  • The evolving normative environment of human rights and humanitarian law
  • Triggers and indicators that should lead to heightened action by States, business (in the form of heightened corporate human rights due diligence) and the UN system
  • The specific challenges in post-conflict (reconstruction and peacebuilding), including the key issues of access to remedy and transitional justice
  • Challenges of the cyber age
The report notes that the UNWG “provide clarity on what is expected from business and States in conflict-affected areas. What is now required is more decisive action to integrate business and human rights into peace and security frameworks.”
With the support of external organizations, the Working Group is now seeking to disseminate the findings of the report beyond the UN General Assembly, and to engage key actors from government, civil society, business and the international system in dialogue on two key questions:
  • Given the constraints of a UN report (including word limit of 10,700), what is missing from the Working Group’s analysis and what more is needed in this field?
  • And what next for this field; how to move from guidance to action?
The aim of these discussions is to generate follow-up on this critical topic and also feed into a roadmap for global implementation of the UN Guiding Principles for the next decade.

Format
Presentation of key insights from the UNWG report, by project lead and UNWG Chair Anita Ramasastry and project advisor Gerald Pachoud

Multi-stakeholder panel: reflections on the report’s value-added, what’s missing and what’s next?

Moderators
avatar for Gerald  Pachoud

Gerald Pachoud

Advisor to the UNWG projects on conflict and UNGPs10+, Advisor to the UNWG projects on conflict and UNGPs10+

Speakers
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
MM

Mirko Manzoni

Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique, UN
NG

Nancy Gutiérrez

Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights, Colombia
FP

Francess Piagie Alghali

Minister of State, Office of the Vice President, Government of Sierra Leone
Mrs. Francess Piagie Alghali is currently the Minister of State in the Office of the VicePresident of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She is the Principal Assistant to the Vice-President and supervises Sierra Leone Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative Unit(SLEITI) as Chairperson... Read More →
KT

Katy Thompson

Team Leader, Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights, UNDP
avatar for Sun Lihui

Sun Lihui

Director, China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters, CCCMC
BG

Brian Gonsalves

Vice President: Group Security and Human Rights Group Sustainability, AngloGoldAshanti


Wednesday November 18, 2020 14:00 - 15:15 CET
Plenary Room

15:15 CET

Update on the process to elaborate a legally binding instrument on business and human rights, in light of the outcomes of the 6th session of the Open-ended Working Group of the Human Rights Council established by Resolution 26/9
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations at Geneva (Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG)

This session will be held in English only

Brief description of the session:
The Open-ended intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG) was established by the HRC Resolution 26/9 of June 2014, with the concrete mandate “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights”. Since 2015, the Working Group has held six sessions, with the participation of States and other relevant stakeholders.
In the last 3 years (4th, 5th and 6th session), this process has incorporated a new pragmatic and inclusive approach in full synergy with other existing frameworks. In that sense, in spite of the remaining different views and assessments regarding certain provisions of the Second Revised Draft of the legally binding instrument, it is clear that the significant improvements introduced in the text, encouraged States and other relevant stakeholders to participate in the 6th session of the OEIGWG that took place from 26-30 October, 2020, and to present comments and proposals on the provisions of the draft treaty.
The future legally binding instrument (LBI) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) can and should be complementary and mutually reinforcing. All the advances and legal and regulatory initiatives registered in recent times, as well as those in the process of elaboration, are a clear demonstration that non-binding standards on business and human rights can and need to be complemented with binding norms, in order to reach more efficiently the common objective of strengthening the protection of human rights in this area.
 
Key objectives of the session:
The session aims to:
  • Facilitate the stock-taking and lesson-sharing between governments and other relevant actors, on how the two processes mentioned above, can benefit and strengthen each other, in light of the conclusions and recommendations of the 6th session of the Working Group, and the concrete recent legal developments, trends, challenges and good practices in preventing and addressing business-related human rights impacts at all levels.
  • Explore the opportunities provided by the LBI to make concrete progress towards the protection of human rights in the business sector, improved accountability and more effective remedies for victims, as well as to strengthen the complementary implementation of the UNGPs.
 
Key questions:
  • How can the future LBI and the implementation of the UNGPs promote and facilitate the respect, promotion and fulfillment of human rights by all business enterprises?
  • What measures should business enterprises take to address future pandemics and ensure full respect for human rights?
  • Why is mutual legal assistance and international cooperation critical in the field of business and human rights?
  • In terms of process, how could States, NHRIs, businesses, CSOs and experts contribute constructively to build consensus around the third revised text of the LBI?
 
Background to the discussion:
Ecuador, in its capacity of Chairpersonship of the OEIGWG, has submitted the Zero Draft in 2018, the Revised Draft (Rev.1) in 2019 and the Second Revised Draft (Rev.2) in 2020. The Rev.2 sought to further align its provisions with existing instruments and frameworks, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and other relevant ILO instruments, as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, among others, under a pragmatic and progressive approach.
The 6th session concluded with the adoption of the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur and the conclusions of the Working Group, which included inter alia, the invitation to States and other relevant stakeholders to fill, no later than February 2021, two matrix templates to be circulated by the Secretariat, reflecting: 1. concrete textual suggestions, modifications, additional language, requests for deletions, as well as expressions of support on the current provisions of the second revised draft; and 2. general comments and requests of clarification. It should be noted that these two matrices will be compiled and distributed by the Secretariat no later than the end of March 2021. In addition, the Chair-Rapporteur is requested to prepare a third revised draft by the end of July 2021, to serve as the basis for substantive intergovernmental negotiations led by States on the preparation of a fourth draft during the 7th session of the OEIGWG.
The full report and the links to the webcast and documents of the 6th and previous sessions can be found at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/WGTransCorp/Pages/IGWGOnTNC.aspx 

Moderators
avatar for Sandra Epal-Ratjen

Sandra Epal-Ratjen

International Advocacy Director and Deputy Executive Director, Franciscans International
Ms Sandra Epal-Ratjen is the International Advocacy Director and Deputy Executive Director of Franciscans International.She has extensive experience and expertise in international legal and advocacy processes, especially pertaining Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.Prior to her... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emilio Izquierdo

Emilio Izquierdo

Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva and Chair-Rapporteur of the OEIGWG
Since 2019, Ambassador Emilio Izquierdo has been the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.A career diplomat, Ambassador Emilio Izquierdo joined the Ministry... Read More →
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
avatar for Humberto Cantu Rivera

Humberto Cantu Rivera

Executive Director, Institute of Business and Human Rights, University of Monterrey
Profesor titular de la Escuela de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM), y Director Ejecutivo del Instituto de Derechos Humanos y Empresas de la UDEM. Es Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Panthéon-Assas París II, en Francia, y Miembro Asociado de su... Read More →
avatar for Kinda Mohamadieh

Kinda Mohamadieh

Senior Researcher and Legal Adviser, Third World Network
Kinda  is legal advisor and senior researcher with the Third World Network office in Geneva, where her work focuses on WTO processes and negotiations, international investment governance and the role and accountability of business enterprises with respect to human rights. Previously... Read More →


Wednesday November 18, 2020 15:15 - 16:30 CET
Virtual Room 2

15:15 CET

UNGPs10+ and roadmap for the next decade: Trade unions’ perspectives
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


About this session
This Forum session provides a platform for global and regional trade union organizations to highlight their key inputs to the ongoing project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation (UNGPs10+ / NextDecadeBHR), led by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG).

The UNGPs10+ project is centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the global authoritative framework on business and human rights that was unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. It is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

To inform the stocktaking and roadmap development, the UNWG seeks to hear perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders from all regions, including trade unions. Given the key role of trade unions in promoting respect for human rights in the workplace (and beyond) and as central actors effective multi-stakeholder dialogue at international, regional, national and local levels, the UNWG attaches great importance to ensuring that union voices are heard in the UNGPs10+ process.

This Forum session therefore serves as an opportunity for direct dialogue between the UNWG and union representatives and for union organizations to publicly highlight their assessments and priorities for the next decade of UNGPs implementation. It is part of a series of engagements linked to UNGPs10+, which complement the call for written input open to all interested parties.

Guiding questions
  • What have been the main challenges in ensuring business respect for workers’ human rights in the current context?
  • From a union perspective, what issues, sectors, themes, or key drivers should be prioritized in the next decade in order to better advance business respect for human rights?
  • How can convergence around the UNGPs at a global governance level be strengthened [ILO/OECD/G20 etc]?
  • In concrete terms, what will be needed in order to achieve meaningful progress with regard to those priority areas?
  • What are challenges, potential pitfalls, and opportunities around the current drive toward mandatory measures? What will it take to make business and human rights legislation effective in the next ten years?

Session organized jointly by ITUC and the UNWG

Moderators
avatar for Carlos Lopez

Carlos Lopez

Senior Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists

Speakers
avatar for Sharan Burrow

Sharan Burrow

General Secretary, ITUC
Sharan Burrow is General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a... Read More →
avatar for Christy Hoffmann

Christy Hoffmann

General Secretary, UNI Global Union
Christy Hoffman is the General Secretary of UNI Global Union, the global union federation for the services industries. UNI affiliates are spread across 150 countries and represent over 20 million workers. Her work at UNI followed more than 25 years of experience as a U.S. based trade... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Cotton

Stephen Cotton

General Secretary, International Transport Workers' Federation
Stephen Cotton is General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), a global union federation of 700 trade unions representing nearly 20 million transport workers in 150 countries in the maritime, port, aviation, road, rail and urban transport sectors... Read More →
avatar for Monica Tepfer

Monica Tepfer

Abogada, CGT Argentina
AK

Apoorva Kaiwar

Regional Secretary, IndustriAll South Asia
MM

Marcela Manubens

Global Vice President for Integrated Social Sustainability, Unilever
Marcela Manubens is the Global Vice President for Integrated Social Sustainability at Unilever. She joined in 2013 and led the social impact strategy and the expansion of the USLP Enhancing Livelihoods ambition incorporating Human Rights, Women's Empowerment and Inclusive Business... Read More →
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →


Wednesday November 18, 2020 15:15 - 16:30 CET
Plenary Room

16:30 CET

Regional trends and dialogue: Latin America and the Caribbean
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Español abajo  
Session organized by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, in collaboration with the European Union, ILO and OECD in the context of the Responsible Business Conduct Project in Latin America and the Caribbean (RBCLAC)  

Interpretation in English, French and Spanish available 

Brief description of the session 
In the framework of this year’s Forum theme, and building on the 5th Regional Forum in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) (held virtually on 7-11 September), with the support of the EU-Funded project on “Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean (RBCLAC)”, organized in collaboration with OECD and ILO, the discussion in that session seeks to continue and promote multi-stakeholder dialogue on emerging practices and challenges in the region to prevent business-related human rights abuses.
Strengthening coherent regulatory frameworks on responsible business conduct; conducting effective due diligence; significant multi-stakeholder engagement and social dialogue; as well as accountability have all an important preventive role to play in addressing adverse impacts. The panel represented by the voice of various sectors, - State, access to remedy mechanism, business sector, civil society organizations, workers, and indigenous communities, will discuss, in an open manner with the audience, the measures that have been taken to prevent these negative impacts, and reflect on solutions and responses to respond to the still persistent challenges.

Key objectives of the session 
  • Showcase the role of governments and businesses to prevent adverse impact on human rights
  • Highlight emerging  practice and challenges on preventing such impacts
  • Strengthen a race to the top among governments and business in the region
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue around lessons learned and the way forward on the prevention on human rights adverse impacts, and to cope with the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Exchange views and suggestions with regard to the activities  of  the RBCLAC project

Key questions 
  • How greater policy coherence on RBC-related question can prevent corporate human rights abuses, including through NAP as a catalyst of state actions. 
  • How stakeholder’s engagement and social dialogue help preventing business adverse impacts?
  • What are the obstacles and opportunities for effective access to effective remedy in the region?
  • How the recognition of the critical role of human rights defenders could contribute to prevent business-related human rights abuse?
  • How can respect for the rights to consultation and consent of indigenous peoples contribute to preventing negative impacts on the rights of indigenous peoples; and how should these processes be maintained in times of crisis, such as the COVID 19 pandemic?

Background to the discussion 
This UN Forum session will provide a space to listen to all stakeholders’ perspectives in order to take stock of achievements to date, assess existing gaps and challenges, and, most importantly, develop a vision for implementing the UNGPs more widely, as well as other relevant international instruments on RBC such as the ILO MNE Tripartite Declaration and the OECD MNE Guidelines on multinational enterprises, and more broadly in the region.
Through the RBCLAC project, it has been possible to analyse, together with the main stakeholders in the countries and relevant international actors, where the main progress in terms of preventing business-related adverse impacts, identifying emerging practices and opportunities to further strengthen the prevention of such impacts on human rights, including the rights of workers, the society and the planet. Among these factors, the adoption and implementation of coherent regulatory frameworks, meaningful participation of all stakeholders in decision-making processes; and accountability, have proven to contribute substantially to preventing these potential negative consequences. This panel will present these advances; looking also frankly at what remains to be done, in order to reflect on solutions accepted by all stakeholders. The dialogue session will be based on the current activities of the Project and its results, and will seek to inform ongoing and future activities of the Project.

Sesión organizada por el  Grupo de Trabajo de las Naciones Unidas sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos en colaboración con la Union Europea, la Organización Internacional de Trabajo y la Organización para la Cooperación y Desarrollo Económico en el marco del proyecto Conducta Empresarial Responsable en America Latina y el Caribe (CERLAC)

Interpretación al inglés, francés y español disponible 

Descripción breve de la sesión 
En el marco del tema del Foro de este año, y en base a la V Foro Regional en América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) (celebrado virtualmente los días 7 a 11 de septiembre), con el apoyo del proyecto financiado por la UE sobre Conducta Empresarial Responsable en América Latina y el Caribe (CERALC), organizado en colaboración con la OCDE y la OIT, la discusión de esa sesión busca continuar y promover el diálogo de múltiples partes interesadas sobre las prácticas emergentes y desafíos en la región para prevenir los  abusos de los derechos humanos relacionados con las empresas.
Fortalecer marcos regulatorios coherentes sobre la conducta empresarial responsable; la realización de debida diligencia efectiva; la participación de múltiples partes interesadas y el diálogo social; así como la rendición de cuentas tienen una importante función preventiva en materia de impactos adversos. El panel representado por voces de varios sectores - Estado, mecanismos de acceso a reparación, empresas, personas defensoras de derechos humanos, personas trabajadoras, y comunidades indígenas, discutirá, de forma abierta con la audiencia, las medidas que han sido tomadas para prevenir esos impactos negativos, y reflexionará sobre soluciones y respuestas para responder a los desafíos aun persistentes.

Objetivos clave de la sesión
  • Mostrar el papel de los gobiernos y las empresas para prevenir las consecuencias negativas en los derechos humanos

Moderators
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Elisa Canqui

Elisa Canqui

Indígena Aymara, Bolivia, Gerente de Programa Oxfam Latinoamerica y el Caribe ., Indígena Aymara, Bolivia
Elisa Canqui is Aymara Indigenous, from Bolivia. She has joined Oxfam in 2019. Before, she worked in IBIS Dinamarca (now Oxfam IBIS) for almost eight years. Elisa served as a Member of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2008-2010). Previously she had worked as a Consultant in several international organizations as IADB, UN-Habi... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Ballinas

Christopher Ballinas

Director General de Derechos Humanos y Democracia, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México
El Dr. Cristopher Ballinas Valdés es Licenciado en Ciencia Política y Administración Pública con mención honorífica por la UNAM y doctor en Ciencia Política por la Universidad de Oxford, además de contar con estudios en la Escuela Kennedy de Gobierno de la Universidad de Harvard... Read More →
avatar for Antonella Pellegrini

Antonella Pellegrini

Head of Sustainability and communities relations, ENEL Chile
Antonella Pellegrini holds a degree in Marketing and Communication from the Instituto Europeo di Design (Italy).After a professional period of 15 years at Kinetics Technology International (Marie Tecnimont), she joined the Enel Green Power team in 2000 and in the following years she... Read More →
avatar for Claudia Paz y Paz

Claudia Paz y Paz

Director of the Central America and Mexico Program,, Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional · Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Claudia Paz y Paz is the Director of the Mexico and Central America Program, based in San Jose, Costa Rica.Prior to joining CEJIL’s team, Claudia was the first woman to hold office as Guatemala’s attorney General where she believed in the rule of law as a force that could strengthen... Read More →
avatar for Marcio Luiz de Freitas Naves de Lima

Marcio Luiz de Freitas Naves de Lima

Subsecretário de Investimentos Estrangeiros da Secretaria Executiva da Camex do, Ministério da Economia da Brazil
MÁRCIO LUIZ DE FREITAS NAVES DE LIMA is Undersecretary for Foreign Investments of the Executive Secretariat of Camex of the Ministry of Economy. He joined the federal public service in 1999 and has held the position of Director of the Department of International Negotiations at the... Read More →
avatar for Edgar Mojica

Edgar Mojica

Secretario General, CUT Colombia




Wednesday November 18, 2020 16:30 - 17:45 CET
Plenary Room

16:30 CET

Regional trends and dialogue: Western European and Others Group
A RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


Session organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights 

Brief description of the session: 
This Forum session is part of the Forum track on trends and challenges in promoting business respect for human rights in the context of each region of the world. Focused discussions aim to take a closer look at legal and policy innovations and practices on which progress can be built.

The session will involve presentations by governments that are moving ahead with regulatory and policy innovations, including to promote better human rights due diligence, effective implementation of national action plans on business and human rights and strengthened access to an effective remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses. The presentations will be complemented by perspectives from other relevant stakeholders in a spirit of constructive dialogue.

Objectives of the session: 
  • Share lessons learned from recent government efforts with potential to drive greater policy coherence and reach scale in business implementation of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue around lessons learned and way forward, including on how to strengthen a race to the top among WEOG countries.
  • Help to inform the WG’s project ‘Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation' (also known as “UNGPs 10+ / Next Decade BHR”). Centred around the upcoming tenth anniversary of the UNGPs in 2021, the project is taking stock of practice to date, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing a vision and roadmap for scaling up implementation of the UNGPs over the course of the next decade.

Background documents and submissions 

Italy contribution for the Forum session “Regional trends and dialogue: Western European and Others Group”
Snapshot on NAPs in WEOG, by the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Moderators
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
avatar for Martina Vandeberg

Martina Vandeberg

President, The Human Trafficking Legal Center
Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center.Vandenberg has spent more than two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro... Read More →
avatar for Laurent Lhopitallier

Laurent Lhopitallier

Corporate Social Responsibility, Sanofi
Laurent LHOPITALLIER, is in charge of Sanofi's duty of vigilance plan. Laurent joined Sanofi in 2013 as part of the global CSR team. Previously a consultant with Deloitte, Laurent has led global assignments in designing sustainability strategies, in embedding Human Rights in business... Read More →
avatar for Robert McCorquodale

Robert McCorquodale

Professor, Inclusive Law
Independent advisor, experienced academic and practitioner, and expert trainer on business and human rights to companies, NGOs, governments, industry associations, and international organizations.Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Nottingham, UK; barrister... Read More →
avatar for Bob Mitchell

Bob Mitchell

Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance
As Vice President at the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), Bob leads the strategy development and implementation for environmental and human rights programs. He is a 16-year veteran of Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with over 11 years in sustainability. He was... Read More →
avatar for Laura Curtze

Laura Curtze

Director Business and Human Rights, Global Compact Network Germany
Laura Curtze is Director for Business and Human Rights at Global Compact Network Germany (GCNG). The German Network is among the oldest and largest Local Networks of the UN Global Compact, with more than 600 participants from business, civil society, public sector and academia. GCNG... Read More →
avatar for Lucie Chatelain

Lucie Chatelain

Advocacy and Litigation Officer, Sherpa
Lucie Chatelain is an Advocacy and Litigation Officer in Sherpa's Globalisation and Human Rights Programme.Sherpa is a French non-governmental organisation which aims to defend victims of economic crimes and fight against new forms of impunity linked to globalisation - through legal... Read More →
avatar for Justine Nolan

Justine Nolan

Professor, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales
Justine Nolan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a Visiting Professorial Scholar at NYU's Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, corporate responsibility for human... Read More →
avatar for Elin Wrzoncki

Elin Wrzoncki

Department Director, Human Rights and Business, Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)
I head the business and human rights department at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark's National Human Rights institution (NHRI). The DIHR works with a variety of actors, including companies, state actors, financial institutions and others to advance implementation of... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Wilde

Elizabeth Wilde

Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia
Ms Wilde is a senior officer with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Ms Wilde is the Deputy Head of Mission in Geneva, focusing primarily on human rights, health, humanitarian and UN specialised agencies. Prior to her current role, in DFAT she led the Human... Read More →
HD

Heike Drillisch

Coordinator, CorA Netzwork for Corporate Accountability
WB

Wolfgang Bindseil

Head of Division for Business and Human Rights, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
TR

Therese Randazzo

US Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection
OR

Odile Roussel

Ambassadrice chargée de la bioéthique et de la responsabilité sociétale des entreprises



Wednesday November 18, 2020 16:30 - 17:45 CET
Virtual Room 2

18:00 CET

Closing: Toward a vision for the next decade - Insights from debates on role of business in society & stakeholder takeaways from the 2020 Forum
VIDEO RECORDING OF THIS SESSION IS AVAILABLE HERE.


The UN Annual Forum’s Closing Plenary session will have two parts:

18:00-18:30: Virtual Fireside Chat
Virtual fireside chat with Anand Giridharadas, author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World” and The.Ink, and Caroline Rees of Shift, discussing what it will take to meaningfully reform capitalism so that it works for people.

18:30-19:15: Stakeholder Takeaways
Stakeholder reflections on key takeaways from the 2020 Forum for the ongoing project to take stock of the first ten years of the UNGPs and design a roadmap for global implementation in the next decade (UNGPs10+).


Links to the Statement of the Indigenous Caucus in various languages:

Moderators
avatar for Paloma Muñoz Quick

Paloma Muñoz Quick

Advisor, UN B-Tech Project and UNGPs10+
Paloma Muñoz Quick is Advisor to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' UNGPs 10+ project and Senior Consultant of UN Human Rights' Business, Human Rights and Technology (B-Tech) project. In these capacities, she supports efforts to develop an ambitious vision and r... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Anand Giridharadas

Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Author
Anand Giridharadas is a writer.He is the author of multiple books, including Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, published by Knopf in 2018. In the book, Anand argues that members of the global elite, though sometimes engaged in philanthropy, use their wealth and influence to preserve systems that concentrate wealth at the top at the expense of societal progress.He is an editor-at-large for... Read More →
avatar for Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President, Shift
Caroline Rees is President and Co-Founder of Shift. Shift is a non-profit mission-driven organization that works across all continents and sectors to challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and redefine corporate practice, in order to build a world where business gets done with respect... Read More →
avatar for June L. Lorenzo

June L. Lorenzo

Indigenous Peoples' Caucus
June L. Lorenzo, JD & PhD, Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Diné), is an attorney and human rights advocate. She currently divides her time between serving as Chief Judge for the Pueblo of Zia (sovereign Indigenous nation), private practice in state and Indigenous courts, and human rights... Read More →
avatar for Ruwan Subasinghe

Ruwan Subasinghe

Legal Advisor, International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
Ruwan Subasinghe is the Legal Director of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). He specialises in labour, human rights and international law. Ruwan represents the ITF at external bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for... Read More →
avatar for Abiodun Baiyewu

Abiodun Baiyewu

Executive Director / Co-Chair, Global Rights / African Coalition for Corporate Accountability
avatar for José Aylwin Oyarzún

José Aylwin Oyarzún

Coordinador Programa Globalización y Derechos / Deputy Secretary General for business and human rights Humanos | OC Coordinator of the Globalization and Human Rights Program, Observatorio Ciudadano (Citizens’ Rights Watch) / FIDH
Lawyer specialized in human rights and indigenous peoples. At the beginning of the 90s he participated in the Special Commission of Indigenous Peoples (Comisión Especial de Pueblos Indígenas – CEPI) working on the draft bill of the current Indigenous Act. He was Director of the... Read More →
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Andrea Shemberg

Chair, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights
Andrea has been with GBI since 2011, and since January 2019 has served as Chair.She has worked in business and human rights for nearly 20 years, beginning as Legal Advisor at Amnesty International UK and the International Commission of Jurists focusing on business, human rights and... Read More →
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Netithorn Praditsarn

Executive Assistant to Group CEO; Senior Vice President, Global Partnership for Sustainability and Communications, C.P. Group (Thailand)
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Danielle Essink

Senior Engagement Specialist, Active Ownership, Robeco
Ms. Essink is a Director at Robeco’s Active Ownership department. She has over 12 years of experience engaging companies on human rights related topics and encouraging them to operate with greater awareness and respect for human rights. She currently has a specific focus on the... Read More →
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Deniz Utlu

Senior Policy Advisor / Chair, German Institute for Human Rights / Business and human rights working group of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions
Deniz Utlu is a Senior Policy Advisor at the German Institute for Human Rights in the field of business and human rights, currently chairing the business and human rights working group of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. His special areas of focus include... Read More →
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Harpreet Kaur

Business and Human Rights Specialist, UNDP Asia-Pacific
Harpreet Kaur is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at UNDP. Harpreet leads a regional project aimed at promoting responsible business practices through regional partnerhsips. Prior to this, Harpreet led the Genpact Centre for Women’s Leadership at Ashoka University where she... Read More →
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Anita Ramasastry

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
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Dante Pesce

Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the Catholic... Read More →


Wednesday November 18, 2020 18:00 - 19:00 CET
Plenary Room
 
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