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Report

UN Working Group outlines measures for govts. and businesses to tackle business-related human rights abuse in conflict-affected regions

"Business, human rights and conflict-affected regions: towards heightened action", 21 July 2020

Summary

In the present report, the Working Group... outlines practical measures that States and business enterprises should take to prevent and address business-related human rights abuse in conflict and post-conflict contexts, focusing on heightened human rights due diligence and access to remedy.

Conclusions

...The Guiding Principles provide clarity on what is expected from business and States in conflict-affected areas. What is now required is more decisive action to integrate business and human rights into peace and security frameworks...

[The] expansion of mandatory due diligence means that the issue of business in conflict-affected regions should gain traction faster, including an expectation of heightened due diligence...

...States should consider, and business should support, the establishment of a multilateral and multi-stakeholder forum to share and build on existing practices in the context of conflict and peacebuilding...

Recommendations

To States:

Home and host States should use their key policy tools and levers to ensure that business engages in conflict-sensitive heightened due diligence when operating in conflict-affected areas...

Businesses should:

  • ...Engage in heightened human rights due diligence that incorporates tools from atrocity prevention and conflict prevention...
  • Develop operational-level grievance mechanisms that have a conflict-sensitive approach.
  • Commit to active engagement with local communities and groups in conflict and post-conflict settings.
  • Ensure that a gender-responsive approach is used to develop heightened human rights due diligence and in grievance, remedy and transitional justice mechanisms.
  • Actively participate in truth and reconciliation processes and provide reparations and guarantees of non-repetition...