UN Forum 2018: Statements & Session Content

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Article
26 November 2018

Contribution of the European Union to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 2018

Author: European Union

Following the 2017 Forum on Business and Human Rights focussing on “Realizing Access to Effective Remedy”*, the European Union is pleased to participate in the 2018 Forum on Business and Human Rights on 26-28 November 2018 with the central theme chosen by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: “Business respect for human rights – building on what works” to "drill down on what has been working to date in terms of government, civil society and business practice, but also on what is not working and where current efforts are falling short, and how to fill the gaps"...

Among the several steps at a regulatory level, we would like to highlight specific provisions on due diligence in the following regulations:

1 EU Directive as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information...

2 EU Timber Regulation (Regulation (EU) 995/2010)...

3 – EU Regulation on responsible sourcing of minerals (“conflict minerals “)...

Furthermore, the European Commission adopted on 8 March 2018 an ambitious action plan on financing sustainable growth in order to meet the challenge of scaling up private investment that contributes to achieving sustainable and inclusive growth...

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Article
26 November 2018

Opening remarks by Mr. Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Author: Mr. Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Under the theme “Business respect for human rights – building on what works”, this year’s Forum will focus on the second pillar of the Guiding Principles: the corporate responsibility to respect human rights...

Prevention of negative impacts on people is at the core of due diligence. It helps to answer the question of "how" to respect human rights in practice.

We will be looking at emerging practices in different sectors and what human rights due diligence implies in relation to specific risks and impacts... Forum sessions will examine elements of due diligence relevant to safeguarding the rights of children, indigenous peoples, women in the workplace and community, migrant workers, workers at risk of forced labour, and human rights defenders who speak up against business-related impacts. Discussions will also explore implications of human rights due diligence in relation to current issues such as climate justice and the transition to a green economy, the wave of artificial technology and automation, responsible tax conduct, and the role of business in conflict and post-conflict settings...

[T]he Forum continues to put a spotlight on “government action” and how governments are performing in implementing the Guiding Principles...

The Forum will also address the role of the investment community, as the financial sector can be a powerful driver for change...

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Article
26 November 2018

Opening remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlight concern about attacks on human rights defenders

Author: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

The Universal Declaration calls on “every individual and every organ of society” to strive to promote respect for human rights. Business enterprises are one such organ of society, and they play a particularly important role -- not only in respecting the human rights of workers and of people affected by business operations, but also in influencing and leveraging others to uphold human rights.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reinforces the role of business in our quest to achieve a world where no one is left behind...

Human rights due diligence has become a norm of expected conduct. Now we must push for much wider implementation and learn from what is working. That is the Focus of this year’s Forum...

The Working Group on Business and Human Rights has done us the service of providing a background analysis, which identifies a number of emerging good practices. However, it but also notes that most businesses around the world are still not carrying out human rights due diligence as expected of them...

I am particularly concerned by the number of attacks on women and men, who speak up and take action to defend their communities against human rights abuses in the context of business operations...

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