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Statement at the end of visit to Georgia by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights

In our capacity as members of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, we have today ended our visit to Georgia (3 to 12 April 2019)...A central theme in our meetings with government officials, businesses, civil society organizations and community members was the legacy of a decade of deregulation, and the need for a new approach compatible with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human rights protection...As we witnessed, a one-eyed focus on attracting investment risk undermining efforts to promote responsible business conduct, unless there is a robust legal framework in place to protect human rights...From meetings held across the country, it was clear that most companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, were not familiar with the concept of responsible business conduct and were unaware of their independent responsibility to respect human rights under the UNGPs. In this regard, we welcome the commitment of the Government and business associations to raise awareness about the UNGPs.