Civic freedom and human rights defenders: what is the role of the business sector?

1 April | Brussels

On behalf of the Business &Human Rights Resource Centre and International Service for Human Rights, it is our pleasure to invite you to the event "Civic freedom and human rights defenders: what is the role of the business sector?" on 1 April at Microsoft Center in Brussels.

The event will explore why and how companies should support civic freedoms, civil society and human rights defenders around the world, drawing upon the report “Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders”, commissioned by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and International Service for Human Rights. The speakers will address the normative responsibility for companies to act in certain circumstances; the business case and the moral choice that should also inform company action. Recent examples of company action will be highlighted across many geographic contexts and sectors, as well as remaining challenges and opportunities for companies. Speakers will include EU and UN officials; company and NGO representatives plus the authors of the report.

The Shared Space Under Pressure report and the issues it addresses have been the focus of a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos and recent events at Chatham House in London and CSIS in Washington and elsewhere in Europe and North America.

Agenda:

13:15 - 14:00

Registration & Lunch

14:00 - 14:05

Welcome by Cornelia Kutterer, Senior Director, Microsoft Brussels

14:05 - 14:25

Presentation of the report by Principal, Bennett Freeman Associates LLC and lead author, Shared Space Under Pressure

14:25 - 15:10

Panel: Business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders Progress to date

Speakers:

 Lotte Leicht, EU Director, Human Rights Watch

 Ruben Zandvliet, ABN Amro

15:10 - 15:55

Panel: Business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders Challenges and Opportunities moderated by Mauricio Lazala, BHRRC

Speakers:

 Peggy Hicks, UN Human Rights

 Michael Ineichen, ISHR

 Barbara Cooreman, Director Policy at the European Branded Clothing  Alliance

16:00 - 17:00

Networking reception

 

We would be pleased to have you participate on 1 April.

Register here