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8 Dec 2015

United Nations Working Group on business and human rights

Brazil: UN Working Group to examine human rights abuses by companies & visit cities affected by dam collapse & megaprojects

“Brazil: UN expert group to assess impact of business activities on human rights”, 7 December 2015

…The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights has…started its first official visit to Brazil to examine the adverse impact of business activities on human rights. The visit, from 7 to 16 December, takes place against the backdrop of a serious environmental disaster, caused by the collapse on 5 November of a mining tailing dam in Mariana…and of a range of ongoing and planned large-scale development projects, including those related to the Rio 2016 Olympics. “As the seventh largest economy in the world, Brazil is playing a leading role both in the region and globally, and we look forward to learning about the steps taken in the country to prevent and address business-related human rights harm,” said human rights expert Pavel Sulyandziga, one of the members of the two-strong delegation. The experts are looking at how the Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights…“…[W]e will [also]…talk with civil society organizations, trade unions and other stakeholders…” said Dante Pesce, the other Working Group member taking part in the visit…