Where to find Business & Human Rights Resource Centre at RightsCon 2019

Wednesday 12 June

9:00am - 10:15am: Measuring respect for human rights: using benchmarks to create a race to the top in the ICT sector

Publicly available benchmarks such as the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, Ranking Digital Rights, and KnowTheChain equip a wide range of users – from investors to governments to civil society – with the tools to engage companies on their human rights impacts. This session will answer the following questions: Why benchmarking? How does it work? Who uses benchmarks and how I can use them?

  • Moderator: Salma Houerbi, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Speakers: Felicitas Weber, KnowtheChain; Laura Reed, Ranking Digital Rights; and Camille Le Pors, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark
  • Room: Celtic

2:15pm - 3:30pm: A friend in need is a friend indeed: building on the first public statements by business and civil society on business protection of civic freedoms

In 2018, both important progressive businesses and the World Summit on human rights defenders have publicly recognized for the first time, through two separate statements, that civic freedoms, defenders and respect for the rule of law are vitally important for both civil society and business - and that businesses have a role to play in protecting defenders and civic freedoms. This session will be a chance for the representatives of these two communities to come together, to talk frankly about the expectations that they have for one another, through a “fire-side chat”. They will discuss: “What are the realistic expectations with regard to business protection of civic freedoms and defenders? What are the main principles that both sides can agree upon that would lead to cooperation? What are the main obstacles?

  • Moderator: Christen Dobson, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Speakers: Michael Karimian, Microsoft; Salome Nduta, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Kenya; Michael Ineichen, International Service for Human Rights 
  • Room: Jelsa

5:15 - 6:30pm: What(went)'sApp at the Brazilian elections?

Since the use of digital communication technologies (particularly social media platforms and mobile apps) are increasingly transforming political processes and influencing in the political debate, this session aims to take the case of the Brazilian electoral process of 2018 in order to critically analyze and hopefully prevent the abuse of economic and political power in elections without jeopardizing FoE or enhancing censorship. This session will also explore the topic of disinformation, elections and freedom of expression from a regional and global perspective. 

  • Moderator: Paulina Gutiérrez, Article 19 South America
  • Speakers include Christen Dobson, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Room: Oya 3

Thursday June 13th

5:15pm – 6:30pm: Old Crisis, Novel Means: Applying new tools to encourage company action in support of civic freedoms and human rights defenders

Companies are increasingly speaking out and taking action against restrictions on civic freedoms and in support of human rights defenders, but they find it difficult to determine whether and when to provide support. This discussion looks at the value of the “Shared space under pressure” guidance launched in 2018, that offers companies a decision-making framework and menu of potential actions to increase private sector support for civic freedoms and defenders.

  • Moderator: Ana Zbona, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Speakers: Khalid Ibrahim; Gulf Centre for Human Rights; Annabel Lee Hogg, The B Team; Sarah Altschuller, Verizon; and Bennett Freeman
  • Room: Limes

Friday June 14th

2:15pm- 3:30pm: Utilizing digital tools to put human rights at the centre of business

During this session the Resource Centre will demo several tools that participants can use to strengthen their work, including its website, benchmarks that assess companies’ human rights performance, infographics and a database of attacks against human rights defenders focused on business-related issues that helps illustrate the severity and scale of violence that HRDs face across the globe; and Investment Trackers, which can help users understand the landscape of companies investing in and employing migrant workers in the Gulf, Jordan, and Lebanon. The Centre will also share the future roadmap for its digital platform and ask for your feedback about the tools and resources you need to help put human rights at the centre of business.

  • Speaker: Alex Guy, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Room: Elydhafa