G20 Summit 2017: Leaders' Declaration commits to action against child labour & modern slavery

"Brandenburg Gate" by Wolfgang Staudt licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This story containes key documents related to the German G20 Presidency. For civil society commentary on the challenges and opportunities of Engaging the G20 on Business and Human Rights, see our blog series.

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Article
10 May 2017

Globalization & the G20: Business needs to be part of the solution

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, ICAR, Naumann Foundation

...As business joins civil society and labor in calling on the G20 to address due diligence in global supply chains, it is now up to the G20 countries to respond. With the G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial meeting less than two weeks out, the event was a timely one. The German government has been outspoken in its commitment to addressing sustainable global supply chains during this year’s G20 process. This follows from the German G7 Presidency in 2015, which saw governments from the world’s seven largest economies commit to promoting better working conditions through increased transparency, risk prevention, access to remedy, and private sector implementation of human rights due diligence. Stakeholders from across the global and engagement groups are all hopeful that the 2017 G20 will produce strong commitments to increasing the sustainability of global supply chains, and establish policy coherence to better guide business...

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Article
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Author: Diario Responsable

“Iberdrola, Acciona y otras 25 compañías reclaman al G20 que exija análisis de riesgos climáticos a las empresas” -24 de abril de 2017

…En una carta presentada en un reciente encuentro en el Foro Económico Mundial, los “jefes” animan a todas las compañías a revelar los impactos del cambio climático en sus actividades empresariales. “Los inversores y las instituciones financieras tendrán un conjunto común de datos e información para permitir el diálogo sobre las consecuencias del cambio climático para una empresa específica y para apoyar las decisiones de inversión. La información hará hincapié en los riesgos que plantean los impactos físicos del cambio climático, las implicaciones de las políticas pertinentes y los riesgos de responsabilidad civil que pueden derivarse de la inacción, lo que proporciona una mayor visibilidad sobre cómo las empresas están gestionando estos riesgos…”, subrayan…Los CEO insisten en que una mejor divulgación de los riesgos financieros relacionados con el clima contribuirá en gran medida a permitir un diálogo constructivo y bien informado entre los inversores y las empresas sobre los riesgos financieros y las oportunidades asociadas a sus actividades. Además de las empresas españolas Iberdrola y Acciona, firman el documento, representantes de otras 25 compañías como Unilever, Suez, Philips, Enel, ING o Solvay.

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Article
11 April 2017

G20 Employment Group Receives Input on Sustainable Supply Chains

Author: International Institute for Sustainable Development

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights issued an open letter to the members of the G20 Employment Working Group during its third meeting to prepare the 'Labour and Employment Ministers' Declaration'... The letter calls on governments to promote sustainable supply chains by protecting and respecting human rights, basing their supply chain commitments on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and referencing the Guiding Principles in the ministerial declaration on labour and employment and in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, concluding with a call for governments and business to implement the Principles...

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Article
24 March 2017

UN Working Group on business & human rights recommends for G20 to call on govts. & businesses to implement UN Guiding Principles

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

"To the members of the G20 Employment Working Group", 24. Mar 2017

It is encouraging to see that the 2017 G20 Employment Working Group has chosen the promotion of sustainable global supply chains as one of its main focus areas... In annex to this letter we make a number of recommendations on how to advance sustainable supply chains. In brief, the G20 should call on governments and businesses to implement the UN Guiding Principles. Key steps that governments should take include: Ensure policy coherence and alignment with the Guiding Principles in multilateral institutions that shape global supply chains; Implement the Guiding Principles through national action plans; Lead by example in their roles as economic actors, including to ensure that business enterprises that are State-owned or controlled respect human rights; Set out clearly the expectation that all business enterprises respect human rights throughout their operations, including by promoting effective human rights due diligence in supply chains through regulatory and policy measures; Implement the “access to remedy” pillar of the Guiding Principles; Address the threat faced by a range of human rights defenders who speak up against human rights risks and impacts associated with global supply chains.

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Article
23 March 2017

Civil society recommendations to G20 highlight transparency & responsible business conduct

Author: Civil 20

"Civil Society Recommendations to the G20"

The G20 countries must reaffirm their commitment to Agenda 2030 by taking concrete steps to drive responsibility and accountability of the private sector towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to mitigate climate change and increase social health, security, development, and inclusive economic stability. Investment flows and finance, both private and public, must be coherent with sustainable economies and business conduct. Investment towards public infrastructure must be coherent with sustainable development and guarantee that private returns are not prioritized over the public interest...

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Article
23 March 2017

NGOs submit policy recommendations on business & human rights to G20 Employment Working Group

Author: coordinated by Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable

"G7/G20 BHR Task Force submit letter to G20 Employment Working Group", 23 Mar 2017

The G7/G20 Business and Human Rights (BHR) Task Force has submitted a letter to the G20 Employment Working Group (EWG), providing key policy recommendations in relation to sustainable global supply chains... As challenges to the current economic world order continue to mount across the world, it is imperative for G20 countries to demonstrate how globalization can work for all. The current global economy depends heavily on the use and functioning of global supply chains. However, in order for these supply chains to help further global economic and social development, they must be sustainable—meaning they adhere to fundamental labor, social, governance, and environmental standards. By taking concrete steps to drive responsibility and accountability within global supply chains, G20 countries will make important gains in relation to targets under the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and will improve the lives of workers globally...

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Article
23 March 2017

Study by think thanks shows corporate influence on G20 process on labour policy among others

Author: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and Global Policy Forum

"Corporate Influence on the G20: The case of the B20 and transnational business networks", 23 March 2017

... Over the past eight years, the G20 has emerged as one of the most prominent political fora for international cooperation, far beyond its original mandate to tackle the global economic and financial crisis of 2007/2008. Today its agenda covers financial and economic issues, investment (particularly in infrastructure), labour market and employment policy, the opportunities and challenges of digital technology, climate change, development, agriculture, global health, migration, counter-terrorism, and other issues of global significance... 

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Article
16 March 2017

Human Rights Watch issues recommendations to German Govt. & G20 on human rights in global supply chains

Author: Human Rights Watch

"G20: Recommendations to the German government on human rights in global supply chains", 16 Mar 2017

In the context of the upcoming G20 Summit, Human Rights Watch therefore urges you to include robust commitments towards human rights due diligence in the draft Ministerial Declaration that you will be preparing and reviewing at the Employment Working Group meeting on 27-28 March in Geneva. We are also urging you to ensure that such commitments are fully included in the final G20 Declaration. In particular, we are recommending that: G20 governments commit to making human rights due diligence in global supply chains a legal requirement for companies...G20 governments commit to legally requiring companies to publicly disclose their suppliers and report publicly on human rights due diligence...G20 governments commit to making independent grievance mechanisms and remedy available and accessible for workers in global supply chains...G20 governments commit to promoting and protecting space for civil society, trade unions, and communities to expose and demand an end to human rights violations in the context of global supply chains...

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Article
10 March 2017

G20 must ensure safe & sustainable infrastructure investment agenda, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says

Author: Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Miami Herald (USA)

"Human rights trampled in push to build infrastructure", 3 Mar 2017

One year ago, we awoke to the shocking news of the murder in Honduras of Berta Cáceres, recipient of the 2015 Goldman environmental prize, in response to her campaign to stop the Agua Zarca...dam. Cáceres had received more than 30 death threats...Foreign backers of the...dam...suspended lending. But threats to those opposing development projects have never been higher...In addition to murder, the tools of repression include curbs on peaceful assembly, clampdowns on non-governmental organizations, attacks on independent media, draconian anti-terror laws, state-sponsored vilification,...[F]inance ministers of...G20...have been working to increase global investment in mega-infrastructure projects... Infrastructure...is vital for the realisation of many human rights...and for economic growth. Growth, in turn, generates resources which can be harnessed for investments in people and the environment. But [these]...plans are laden with un-assessed human rights risk... In the macho world of mega-infrastructure, success is measured by size and speed, breeding the denial of human rights rather than due diligence... [T]he...narrative seems to be that you need to break a few eggs to make an omelette. [T]he president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has reportedly described people resisting forced resettlement as “irrational”...The possibility of human-rights-compliant resettlement seems irrelevant to this world view. The G20 and development financing institutions must urgently correct the course. It is time to lift the veil on regional and national infrastructure plans...[and] for a safe [and] sustainable infrastructure investment agenda.

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Article
21 February 2017

G20: John Ruggie addresses socially sustainable supply chains in speech to govt. leaders

Author: John Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government

...according to an ILO report one out of seven jobs worldwide is related to global supply chains. That number does not encompass so-called non-standard forms of work, which can range from casual and temporary employment to forced and bonded labor, nor does it include informal work at the bottom of supply chains, often done by women and children in the home. In the 17 G20 countries for which there is data, the percentage of the labor force in global supply chains is even higher: more than one job in five.When we add up these numbers and recognize that those workers may have families who depend on them, we may well be talking about one billion people worldwide involved in and directly affected by global supply chains. So in terms of orders of magnitude, the challenge of securing socially sustainable supply chains ranks high on the must-do list...

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