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UN Forum 2019: Materials launched

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Article
25 November 2019

New discussion paper on mandatory human rights due diligence - includes perspectives from business, government and civil society

Author: Shift

"Let's talk mandatory measures", Fall 2019

[M]andatory measures have not been a central part of the mix considered by states in the initial years of UNGPs implementation... That is now changing, particularly in Europe. A growing number of states are actively considering the use of mandatory due diligence measures...

Civil society organizations have been advocating for greater consideration of mandatory measures for some time. However, we are increasingly hearing businesses across diverse sectors and geographies start to urge consideration of a level playing field... As engagement increases, the discussion is starting to move beyond whether these measures are necessary, towards what shape regulation can take to be most effective in fostering rights-respecting business practice...

This requires that space be made for a diversity of business voices... To inform the design of any future measures, we need to unpack their concerns...

[B]usiness needs to listen to civil society advocates and human rights defenders...

Governments of course have a key role to play both in creating space for dialogue among stakeholders and in crafting thoughtful legislative proposals grounded in a solid evidence base of what works.

A "smart mix" also means looking at all the different levers the state has...

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Report
25 November 2019

New report: "Navigating the Future of Business and Human Rights - Good Practice Examples"

Author: United Nations Global Compact

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights outline the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, including in supply chains, and to provide effective remedy to victims of business-related human rights abuses. These expectations are often difficult to implement in day-to-day business operations, in particular due to the complexity of supply chains or operations in challenging contexts with weak governance and a lack of strong institutions.

In the context of a fast-changing world, new human rights challenges frequently emerge and companies may struggle to keep up with the constant push to play a positive role in tackling such challenges, to align their business strategies and to understand in practice what it means to take a holistic look. Companies continue to face challenges in areas such as...

I. Preparing for the future of work and the technological revolution

II. Ensuring climate justice and a just transition to a zero-carbon economy

III. Putting in place effective remedy and grievance mechanisms

IV. Ensuring the protection of migrant rights and ethical recruitment practices

V. Making investments with a gender lens

VI. Taking a fresh look at human rights due diligence

VII. Tackling working poverty ...

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