abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

24 Nov 2020

Author:
Dante Pesce, Vice-Chair UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Remarks by Vice-Chair UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights at 1st Regional Forum on Business & Human Rights in Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Under the UNGPs, all business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights, and the process of continuously conducting human rights due diligence (HRDD) is a core requirement for businesses in fulfilling that responsibility...

We heard this at the annual UN Forum last week, where companies and investors reaffirmed that having strong HRDD systems, supplier relationships and supply chain visibility in place prior to the pandemic have been crucial for companies to navigate the challenges of COVID- 19...

The Working Group is encouraged by the current momentum toward mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) regimes across a growing number of jurisdictions, particularly in the EU context.

The consensus among participants across all sectors and all geographies at last week’s UN Forum is that laws are coming. Our future is one of mandatory measures...

Building out regulatory responses is a key issue for the Working Group's ongoing efforts to develop a roadmap to advance implementation of the UNGPs in the next decade, through our “UNGPs10+” project.

With the EU legal developments, the reach of mHRDD regimes is getting closer also in this region.

Yet, beyond Western Europe, there are few mHRDD developments. And despite efforts to the contrary, there are also very few countries with national action plans (NAPs). Not only have too few countries developed NAPs, but also where such plans exist, the overall picture is one of shortcomings, in terms of both process and content.

One of the main reasons for the weakness of even of NAPs – not to speak of the mandatory landscape – in many countries is corruption and corporate and regulatory capture of the state...

In all contexts, two critical elements need to be present for developing effective legal and policy paths forward: Multi-stakeholder dialogue that includes both business associations and civil society organizations and, importantly, affected stakeholder voices, including unions, human rights defenders and those most at risk.

And there needs to be mechanisms for accountability and good governance.

Even if government-led legal and policy change in many regions lag behind, that does not mean companies cannot move. On the contrary...

Story Timeline