Governments urged to improve record on business & human rights ahead of UN Forum

Author: UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Published on: 21 November 2019

Governments are failing in their duty to protect people from human rights abuses by business and cannot put off action any longer, UN human rights experts have warned ahead of the largest global gathering on business and human rights. 

“It’s time for governments to act and make real progress on ending business-related human rights abuses. This means commitments, plans and action – not just statements of intent,” said the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights [ahead of] the 2019 Forum on Business and Human Rights... 

“Governments have a duty, not an option, to protect people against business-related harms. They are simply not doing enough at the moment. Despite positive steps by some States, we have to call into question the effectiveness of current efforts overall and the lack of concrete action...

“The lack of government leadership is reflected in governance gaps and a lack of policy coherence at all levels – national, regional and global – which results in fundamental challenges to ensuring that the human rights and dignity of all are upheld in the context of business activities,” the experts said...

States are being urged to [...] lead by example in their own economic roles as owners... purchasers, trade financiers and investors, including in third countries...

The 2019 Forum agenda will include discussion on a “smart mix” of measures...

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