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24 Nov 2017

Uwe Gneiting, Cathrine Bloch Veiberg & Amol Mehra, Business and Human Rights Journal

Commentary: Why the business & human rights community needs to engage with the SDGs

[B]usiness’ elevated position within the 2030 Agenda represents both a potential opportunity and a challenge: an opportunity as it brings into the spotlight the actions and impact of business and creates openings for a renewed push of making the human rights responsibilities of business core to the SDGs. A challenge because, if not understood correctly, business’s engagement in the SDGs will risk sidelining human rights, including processes like human rights due diligence.

Seeing the SDGs as an avenue to make advances on human rights represents a key opportunity for the business and human rights community... We offer international standards for accountability,;... create visibility for instances of negative human rights impacts of business... and elevate voices and grievances of rights holders; ... bring into focus the role of governments as duty bearers of human rights and thus as drivers of the SDGs; ... [and] help ensure that the SDGs’ ambition of leaving no one behind applies to marginalized and discriminated groups.

By engaging with key actors to the Agenda 2030 (e.g. aid agencies, financial institutions and development NGOs), [the Business and Human Rights community] can foster and expand the recognition and understanding for our cause and thus ensure that Business and Human Rights becomes a cornerstone of sustainable development.