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Monday, November 26 • 4:40pm - 6:00pm
Are States making progress on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights? Challenges, innovations and lessons learned from implementation

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Organized by UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Brief Description:
This Forum session led by the Working Group will provide an opportunity for States to share updates on progress in implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and for all relevant stakeholders to engage in open dialogue on ways forward.

Under the 2018 Forum’s central theme “Business respect for human rights –building on what works”, the Working Group invites States to share information about:

(a) Regulatory and policy developments to provide guidance, incentives and/or requirements for business enterprises to carry out human rights due diligence in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their adverse human rights impacts across operations and value chains;
(b) Updates on national action plans on business and human rights (in line with Human Rights Council resolution 26/22, paragraph 4), including assessments of impact of the implementation of existing plans.

The Forum’s regional track will provide further opportunities for exchange about such initiatives and stakeholder perspectives on the ways forward.

Tentative agenda
Part II: National action plans on business and human rights - Impacts, lessons learned and ways forward
  • NAPs – what has been the impact to date? A quick overview 
  • Getting started, lessons learned 
  • Open dialogue: translating plans to action
    • Government interventions 
    • Other stakeholders
  • Wrap-up by the Working Group

Background to the discussion:

In its 2018 report to the General Assembly (A/73/163), the Working Group highlights how States are performing in promoting corporate human rights due diligence. It notes that the human rights due diligence standard set out in the Guiding Principles is increasingly reflected in government policy frameworks and legislation, including mandatory disclosure of risks of modern slavery in supply chains. In the 20 national action plans on business and human rights that have been issued to date, Governments have reaffirmed the expectation that business enterprises exercise human rights due diligence.

The report also highlights gaps: A lack of government leadership in addressing governance gaps remains the biggest challenge. A fundamental issue is that host Governments are not fulfilling their duty to protect human rights, either failing to pass legislation that meets international human rights and labour standards, passing legislation that is inconsistent, or failing to enforce legislation that would protect workers and affected communities.

 While some home Governments have introduced due diligence or disclosure legislation, such efforts also remain patchy or uncoordinated. Governments are not providing enough guidance on human rights due diligence and support tailored to national business audiences, including small and medium-sized enterprises. A lack of policy coherence in government practice is part of the overall picture, and Governments are not leading by example in their own roles as economic actors.
The key message to Governments is that they should use all available regulatory and policy levers, such as: policy tools and frameworks, including national action plans in order to enhance policy coherence overall; legislation, regulation and adjudication; economic incentives in “economic diplomacy” and public procurement; leadership by example in their role as economic actors; provision of guidance (including for SMEs); and promotion of multi-stakeholder dialogue.

The Forum provides an opportunity for States and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue on the emerging practices, shortcomings and solutions highlighted by the Working Group.

How to participate:
States that wish to share their experiences and perspectives are invited to pre-register by sending an email to wg-business@ohchr.org  with cc to bhrforum@ohchr.org including in the subject line:
“Forum GOVT. ACTION – [country name]”.
Although speaking time is limited (3 minutes for statements), all States will be able to submit statements to be posted on the Forum webpage. States should indicate whether they would like to speak in part I or part II, or both.
States are encouraged to participate with representatives from across relevant Government ministries, departments and agencies.
Other participants wishing to join the multi-stakeholder dialogue on lessons learned and ways forward are also invited to sign up in advance by sending an email to forumbhr@ohchr.org, cc: wg-business@ohchr.org  with cc to bhrforum@ohchr.org including in the subject line: “2018 Forum GOVT. ACTION session – Multi-stakeholder dialogue - [name of organization]”. Interventions should be no more than 2-3 minutes in order to allow time for as many stakeholder perspectives as possible. Written statements may be submitted for posting on the Forum web page. Those signing up for the speaker list should indicate whether they wish to speak in part I or part II, or both.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Daniel Morris

Daniel Morris

Adviser, Human Rights and Business, Instituto Danés de Derechos Humanos
Daniel Morris es un experto en derechos humanos y empresas que trabaja en el Instituto Danés de Derechos Humanos. Tiene una formación académica en derecho y derechos humanos. Trabaja para apoyar a los estados, las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos y otras partes interesadas... Read More →

avatar for Wolfgang Bindseil

Wolfgang Bindseil

Head of Division, Business and Human Rights, German Foreign Office
Wolfgang Bindseil is Head of the Division Business and Human Rights in the German Foreign Office since October 2020.On his previous post, he served as Head of Division for Humanitarian Assistance (2019/20), Minister-Counsellor at the German Embassy in Kyiv (2015-19), Deputy Head of... Read More →
avatar for Jakob Kiefer

Jakob Kiefer

CSR Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden

Ken Okaniwa

Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
avatar for Fabrizio Petri

Fabrizio Petri

President of the Italian Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights, The Government of Italy
avatar for Stella Wangechi

Stella Wangechi

Senior Human Rights Officer, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenya
The NAP development process in Kenya

Monday November 26, 2018 4:40pm - 6:00pm CET
Room XX