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Tuesday, November 27 • 11:30am - 1:00pm
Role of NHRIs in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights impacts

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Interpretation is provided into English, French and Spanish

Organized on the Working Group on businness and human rights

Background to the discussion:
The UN Guiding Principles on the Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) envisage a role for the following three types of mechanisms to provide access to effective remedy in business-related human rights abuses: state-based judicial mechanisms, state-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms (NJMs), and non-state-based grievance mechanisms. While judicial mechanisms are “at the core of ensuring access to remedy”, NJMs such as national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have “an essential role in complementing and supplementing judicial mechanisms”. Like other NJMs, NHRIs should meet the effectiveness criteria set out in Principle 31 of the UNGPs.
Building on its prior work on access to remedy (A/72/162 and A/HRC/35/33) and to complement the OHCHR’s Accountability and Remedy Project, the Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Working Group) is starting a new project to focus on the important role of NHRIs in improving access to effective remedy for business-related human rights abuses, in line with the aspirations expressed in the Edinburgh Declaration. NHRIs can facilitate access to remedy both directly (e.g., by handling complaints concerning human rights abuses by companies) and indirectly (e.g., by raising awareness, building capacity, assisting affected rights holders and recommending legal reforms).
The Working Group has recently received an explicit mandate about this project from the Human Rights Council. In July 2018, the Council (A/HRC/38/L.18) requested the Working Group “to analyse further the role of national human rights institutions in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses, and to convene a two-day global consultation on these issues, open to all stakeholders, and to inform the Council by its forty-fourth session as appropriate”.

Session objectives:
The session aims to achieve the following objectives:
  • to gain a better understanding of the existing mandates, policies and practices of NHRIs concerning access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses;
  • to know more about the challenges and limitations that NHRIs face in dealing with business-related human rights abuses; and
  • to discuss steps that could be taken to strengthen the role of NHRIs in providing effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses, especially in cases with a transnational dimension.

Session format 
The session will be organised as an interactive dialogue with NHRIs and other stakeholders. There will not be any panel: rather, all interested speakers will offer brief remarks from the floor. The dialogue will be facilitated by Mr Surya Deva, the Working Group member leading this project, who will keep a list of speakers.
Discussion questions 
Speakers may share information about one or more of the following questions:
  • Does your NHRI have a mandate to investigate or conduct inquiry about alleged human rights abuses by businesses?
  • Does your NHRI have an explicit mandate to handle complaints concerning alleged business-related human rights abuses?
  • What types of remedies could your NHRI offer to individuals or communities harmed by businesses?
  • What are the three most critical challenges that your NHRI has experienced in providing access to effective remedies in business-related human rights abuses?
  • How does your NHRI deal with complaints which have a transnational dimension?
  • Can you share any good practice examples in which your NHRI was able to facilitate, directly or indirectly, effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses?

How to participate:
NHRI representatives or other interested stakeholder who wish to participate in the dialogue are invited to pre-register by sending an email to mgarciatorrente@ohchr.org with cc to forumbhr@ohchr.org by including in the subject line:
“Dialogue with NHRIs – [NHRI name]”.
The speaking time allocated to each NHRI will depend on the number of requests received (information on this will be provided closer to the Forum). All NHRIs will, however, be able to submit a statement to be posted on the project webpage.  
Deadline: 20 November 2018

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights


Aishah Bidin

Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
Human Rights Commissioner and Law Professor at the National University of Malaysia. Corporate Law , human rights and energy law
avatar for Eugenio Roberto T. Cadiz

Eugenio Roberto T. Cadiz

Commissioner, Philippines Commission on Human Rights
Commissioner Eugenio Roberto T. Cadiz is the focal commissioner for Business and Human Rights; Environment; Suffrage and Civic Participation; International Humanitarian Law; Human Rights Defenders; Peace; and Sustainable Development Goals, at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of... Read More →
avatar for Angkhana  Neelapaijit

Angkhana Neelapaijit

Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT)
Angkhana  Neelapaijit was born in Bangkok, Thailand where she grow up and graduated from Santa Cruz Convent school and the Faculty of Nurse, Mahidol University. Angkhana became the Human Rights activist after her husband who is a prominent Human Rights Lawyer was kidnapped by a group... Read More →
avatar for Tuenjai Deetes

Tuenjai Deetes

Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT)
Tuenjai Deetes or "Kru Daeng" (Techer Daeng) graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand in 1974, then she had joined the Gradute Volunteer Program, Thammasat University, during 1974-1976. She started to be a "hill teacher" at Pangsa Villages... Read More →

Rev. Usman J. Fornah

Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL)

JHO Kyoung-Jae

Deputy Director, National Human Rights Commission of Korea

Sarah McGrath

Director, International Engagement, Business and Human Rights, Australian Human Rights Commission
avatar for Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera

Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera

Ombudsman, Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia
Peace Process and Post ConflictHuman Rights DefendersFieldworkBusiness and Human Rights
avatar for Jan-Christian Niebank

Jan-Christian Niebank

Policy Adviser, German Institute for Human Rights
Jan-Christian Niebank is a researcher and policy adviser in the international department of the German Institute for Human Rights. His main areas of expertise include business and human rights, human rights-based development policy, human rights as a criterion for the licensing of... Read More →

Ambuj Sharma

Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission of India
avatar for Prakairatana Thontiravong

Prakairatana Thontiravong

chair of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights and SDGs, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT)
Prakairatana Thontiravong is the Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. Her mandate is covering the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Human Rights Education. She also the Chair of the Working Group on Business, Human Rights and SDGs within the NHRCT... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm CET
Room XXI