Mary Robinson Speaker Series 2023 | Raising the bar: Regulating to end corporate abuse
Date & time: Thursday 14 September 2023, 09:00 New York / São Paulo 10:00 / London 14:00 / 15:00 Brussels / 18:30 New Delhi / 22:00 Tokyo
Each year BHRRC's Mary Robinson Speaker Series spotlights emerging issues in the field of business & human rights. It looks to move forward the debate, by bringing together people from business, investment, legislative and human rights communities, as well as voices speaking on behalf of those most impacted by egregious human rights abuse.
Our free online event will focus on the new wave of regulation aiming to end corporate impunity, while also empowering communities and workers in global supply chains. Our panel will explore the importance of rigorous corporate accountability and human rights due diligence legislation and the need for business and investor leadership to promote human rights-centred operation and investment for a right-centred corporate activity.
Our panel of speakers will bring their expert perspective on emerging human rights regulation. The event will feature government representatives, company/investor, and worker voices, and through their rich analysis, will demonstrate that corporate human rights due diligence – growing in stature internationally – is a crucial opportunity to empower and protect marginalised communities and workers.
Host - Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson is former President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chair of the Elders.
Keynote speaker - Kalpona Akter
BHRRC is pleased to announce Kalpona Akter, internationally recognised labour rights advocate, will lead the conversation of this year's Mary Robinson Speaker Series event.
Kalpona Akter is an internationally recognised labour rights advocate who has campaigned for fair wages, safe workplaces, freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. She is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, one of Bangladesh’s key labour rights advocacy organisations.
Kalpona is a former child garment worker who became union president in her shop floor at the age of 16 and was blacklisted in the industry for fostering advocacy. Today, Kalpona is the President of Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation - a major national trade union centre.
In 2016 Kalpona received the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism for championing the rights of working women, and all workers in Bangladesh’s garment factories
Special guest panellist: Geneviève Tuts, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Didier Reynders
Geneviève Tuts is also responsible for Justice, Rule of law, data protection and consumers policy since 2019. In addition to strategic and policy coordination, she also coordinates the Rule of Law and the external dimension of the portfolio (EU-US relations and Ukraine).
Glen Mpufane, Director of Mining, Diamonds, Gems, Ornament and Jewellery Production at IndustriALL Global Union
With over 30 years of experience within the global union’s mining sector, Glen’s focus has been policy development and implementation principally around the world of work, environmental, social and governance principles, climate change, and IR 4.0 impacts. Before IndustriALL, Glen was a Mining Officer for the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mines, and General Workers’ Union in Geneva.
Kathrin Raabe, Senior Manager at the ALDI SOUTH Group
Kathrin is responsible for ensuring social compliance in ALDI’s garment textiles supply chains. Her focus is on enhancing responsible purchasing practices and ALDI’s CR Supplier Evaluation System. Before her current post she worked several years for the German Corporation for International Cooperation in Myanmar and Mongolia. Kathrin has over 10 years of experience working on sustainability in global supply chains.
Renato Bignami, Labour inspector for the Brazilian Ministry of Labour and Employment
In his role as Labour Inspector, Renato acts in the promotion of fundamental rights at work within the scope of the Regional Superintendence of Labour and Employment in São Paulo. He is also director of the National Union of Labour Inspectors.
During his career, Renato has been a technical Specialist in Occupational Safety and Health for Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office of the International Labour Organization. Under the Regional Superintendence of Labour and Employment in São Paulo, he was also coordinator of the State Program for the Eradication of Slave Labour, coordinator of the State Program for the Eradication of Child Labour, and coordinator of education and training for labour inspectors. Renato has extensive academic and governmental experience focusing on labour inspection and public labour administration for the promotion of fundamental rights in supply chains.
Betty Yolanda, Director of Regional Programmes at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Betty is the Director of Regional Programmes at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Betty joined us in February 2019 as Asia Regional Manager following her tenure at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, a human rights and development organisation that now has 85 member organisations in 23 countries across Asia, where she worked since 2014 as Programme Manager then Co-Director. Betty led FORUM-ASIA’s work on freedoms of expression, assembly, association, as well as civil society engagement with international and regional human rights mechanisms.