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1 Aug 2016

Amy Sinclair, Australian Human Rights Commission

Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia: Joint Civil Society statement

[In May 2016] the Australian Human Rights Commission hosted a roundtable meeting for civil society representatives, including nongovernmental organisations and academia. This Joint Civil Society Statement reflects the key outcomes of the CSO Roundtable. The key question underpinning this Statement is: how are the UNGPs to be operationalised in Australia? This Statement sets out civil society’s initial recommendations to the Australian Government on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in Australia. [Recommendations include:]

  • establish a multi-stakeholder advisory group
  • conduct a thorough, consultative and efficient national baseline assessment
  • develop a national action plan on business and human rights
  • meet criteria for the NAP development process and content
  • lead by example, particularly in public procurement and the operation of state-owned, controlled and supported business enterprises
  • develop clear guidance for business on how to respect human rights in accordance with the UNGPs, including on human rights due diligence and reporting
  • develop options for safeguarding, supporting and developing mechanisms that provide access to remedy for the victims of business-related human rights abuses
  • strengthen the Australian OECD National Contact Point
  • commit adequate resources to implementing the UNGPs