“Business & Human Rights: Bridging the Governance Gap” – looking ahead to likely trends over next decade

The dilapidated premises of the Union Carbide plant, Bhopal, India.

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Article
13 November 2015

Event summary: Business & Human Rights: Bridging the Governance Gap

Author: Chatham House

This is a summary of an event held by the International Law Programme at Chatham House on trends likely to emerge in the field of business and human rights over the next decade.  The meeting coincided with the publication of a Chatham House research paper by Dr Jolyon Ford…Mark Hodge began the panel discussion by addressing the definition of ‘respect’ in the context of the second pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the role of business self-regulation…Phil Bloomer focused his remarks on current obstacles regarding the third pillar of the UNGPs, access to remedy…Professor Sheldon Leader concluded the panel’s presentations with an overview of where business and human rights may be heading…

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Report
30 September 2015

Future effectiveness of business & human rights frameworks will depend on strong legal basis & positive business engagement, says expert

Author: Jolyon Ford, Australian National University

“Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Governance Gap”, 22 Sep 2015

This research paper explores some trends and debates related to efforts to identify, promote and regulate the roles, responsibilities and impacts of business enterprises in relation to human rights.  The emerging field of business and human rights (BHR), encapsulating these issues, is marked by an overall paradox: clear signs of increasing interest and activity around BHR questions exist alongside considerable uncertainty, apathy or outright lack of awareness concerning many key BHR themes…[T]his paper attempts to assess the potential trajectory of the BHR agenda with the aim of furthering debate in policy, professional, business and academic circles…How might the field evolve over the period 2015–25, including on the basis of patterns since 2011?  What forces and factors might determine its trajectory?  If the overall objective is to promote maximal fulfilment and enjoyment of human rights, what measures and approaches will be the most appropriate, viable and sustainable?  How significant will law-based approaches be, relative to policy measures and market-driven Initiatives? What is at stake in pursuing that regulatory mix?...

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