Statement on the 26th session of the Human Rights Council

The Working Group on Business and Human Rights welcomes that the Human Rights Council at its recently concluded session reaffirmed its support to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...We are also pleased that the Council decided to strengthen our mandate...The Working Group looks forward to contributing to any open deliberations on new international standards...The new inter-governmental process does not in any way reduce the need for all States to take steps now to implement their duty to protect human rights. Similarly, all business enterprises need to increase efforts to implement the corporate responsibilities to respect human rights...[I]t is important to stress that the Guiding Principles are not “voluntary” in nature. Rather, they provide authoritative guidance as to the application of existing international human rights standards in this area...The Working Group has been advocating for action plans on business and human rights as one way of strengthening national human rights protection mechanisms. In this regard we welcome the Council’s decision to encourage all States “to submit information on their national action plans and other relevant initiatives, with annual reports on the implementation of such commitments.”

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