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16 Mar 2016

UN Working Group on business & human rights

Official announcement

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The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights is convening its first in Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights from 19 to 20 April 2016 in Doha.

About the Forum

Building on the 2014 Africa Forum and 2013 Latin America & Caribbean Forum, the Asia Forum will be an opportunity to speed and scale up awareness and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the region. The two-day event will allow participants to discuss salient issues and identify areas at the national level where accelerated action is needed by States and companies to prevent and address business-related human rights harm.

Given the diversity of issues across the Asia-Pacific region - which spans from Saudi Arabia in West Asia, to Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and China in East Asia - for some sessions there will be a sub-regional, rights-based and/or sectoral focus in order to examine problems and identify solutions in a concrete manner.

Date: 19-20 April 2016
Location: Doha (Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel)
Website:  www.ohchr.org/2016AsiaRegionalForum

Enquiries: [email protected]

Registration is open: http://regionalforum-bhr.ohchr.org
Please note that attendance is subject to available space (approximately 400 persons) and the Working Group’s policy of ensuring stakeholder, geographic and gender balance. Registration is being managed by the Working Group’s Secretariat. Confirmation may take up to several weeks.

Costs and logistics information: There is no charge for attending the event, but participants are generally expected to cover all the costs of their flights and stay in Doha. Further details will be posted on the Regional Forum website

Programme and speakers: A draft programme will be uploaded on the website as soon as possible.

Submissions: Stakeholders are invited to submit relevant background documents and session suggestions to: [email protected]


The Forum will convene representatives of Governments, business, industry associations, civil society organisations, trade unions, indigenous peoples, affected individuals, law firms, investor groups, international and regional bodies, national human rights institutions, academia and the media.

There is no charge for attending the event, but participants are generally expected to cover all the costs of their flights and stay in Doha.

The Programme

The programme, which is being managed by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and its Secretariat, will focus on the three pillars of the Guiding Principles:

  • The State duty to protect human rights against business-related impacts;
  • The corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and
  • The need for effective remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse.

Key issues

The Regional Forum will examine salient issues in the region, such as:

  • The rights of migrant workers;
  • Impacts of large-scale land acquisitions;
  • Garment sector supply chains;
  • Forced and child labour and human trafficking;
  • Access to remedy through judicial and non-judicial mechanisms;
  • Mega sporting events;
  • Human rights defenders;
  • Rights of women in a business context; and
  • Indigenous peoples’ rights.

The Forum will also discuss the national and regional application of global business and human rights issues, such as national action plans, corporate human rights due diligence, and the role of the State as an economic actor. The final list of themes and sessions may change following further consultations with partners.