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Monday, November 26 • 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Labour rights and human rights due diligence

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Organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Brief description of the session:
This session will address corporate human rights due diligence in relation to labour rights, showcasing good practices and lessons learned. It will look into such processes within a company’s own operations as well as in its business relationships with other enterprises.

Session objectives:
  • Facilitate exchange of experiences on how corporate human rights due diligence processes can help enterprises to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for adverse labour rights impacts, including the fundamental principles and rights at work, working conditions, OSH, hours of work, wages, etc.
  • Provide examples of meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups and other relevant stakeholders, and the central role of freedom of association and collective bargaining as well as industrial relations and social dialogue in this process.
  Key discussion questions:
  •  How have the UNGPs been reflected in new international labour standards and the revised ILO Tripartite Declaration concerning multinational enterprises and social policy (MNE Declaration)?
  • How are business enterprises in all tiers of the supply chain engaging with workers' organizations as part of their efforts to engage in meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups in order to “take account of the central role of freedom of association and collective bargaining as well as industrial relations and social dialogue as an ongoing process” as set out in the ILO MNE Declaration? How does consultation with trade unions differ from engagement with other relevant stakeholders?
  • What is the role of governments in this consultation and how are governments supporting this engagement?
  • What have been some of the challenges and lessons learned?
  • What sustainable solutions have resulted from such due diligence processes? What role did meaningful engagement with, or involvement of, workers and their representatives play in those efforts?

 Format of the session:
The session will be in the format of a roundtable discussion with open discussions with the audience.
Background to the discussion :
Under Pillar 2 of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), enterprises should carry out due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their actual and potential adverse impacts that relate to internationally recognized human rights, understood, at a minimum, as those expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW). The 1998 Declaration sets out rights in four categories: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary FPRW Declaration (1998), which provides an opportunity to look at how effective due diligence processes can help companies to identify and assess the impacts of their operations on labour rights. The 2017 revised text of the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) includes a specific paragraph on due diligence in order to incorporate the concept of due diligence set out in the UNGPs. The MNE Declaration states that "In order to gauge human rights risks, enterprises – including multinational enterprises – should identify and assess any actual or potential adverse human rights impacts with which they may be involved either through their own activities or as a result of their business relationships. This process should involve meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups and other relevant stakeholders including workers’ organizations, as appropriate to the size of the enterprise and the nature and context of the operation. For the purpose of achieving the aim of the MNE Declaration, this process should take account of the central role of freedom of association and collective bargaining as well as industrial relations and social dialogue as an ongoing process”.
Additionally, ILO has referenced due diligence in the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, the Recommendation No. 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience, 2017 and the Resolution and conclusions concerning decent work in global supply chains adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2016.

Interpretation is provided in Korean.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Victor Van Vuuren

Victor Van Vuuren

OIC ADG for Jobs and Protection, International Labour Organization
Victor has a Law Degree. Worked as prosecutor and magistrate and then moved into the private sector as a corporate legal advisor and human resources director at executive level in large corporates. He helped establish a unified South African business federation and was appointed as... Read More →


Stefanie Freyberg

Unit CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
avatar for Elaine McKay

Elaine McKay

International Affairs Director, Japan Tobacco International (JTI)
Elaine is an international development specialist with global experience, applying principles of human rights in the private sector. She has more than 20 years of progressive and demonstrated experience creating and executing CSR and sustainability initiatives. She has achieved global... Read More →
avatar for Roberto Suarez Santos

Roberto Suarez Santos

Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers
Roberto Suárez Santos fue nombrado Secretario General de la Organización Internacional de Empleadores (OIE) el 26 de octubre de 2018, tras haber ejercido como Secretario General Adjunto desde diciembre de 2012. Tras un exitoso periodo como Secretario General Adjunto, durante el... Read More →

Víctor Garrido Sotomayor

International department, International Department, Comisiones Obreras, CCOO Industry (Spain)
avatar for Ruwan Subasinghe

Ruwan Subasinghe

Legal Director, International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
Ruwan Subasinghe is the Legal Director of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). He specialises in labour, human rights and international law. Ruwan represents the ITF at external bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm CET
Room XXI