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Wednesday, November 28 • 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Human rights due diligence in practice in the commodities trading sector

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Watch live: https://unog.webex.com/unog/j.php?MTID=mf6b05920d7c070651dac2f7c78e53b64 

Brief description the session:
The session will bring together different stakeholders, including representatives from regional organizations, civil society, business sector and governments, to discuss the challenges of implementing effective human rights due diligence in the commodity trading sector. This discussion will also serve to identify good practice to put respect for human rights into practice and brainstorm on potential solutions for its scale-up in the commodity trading sector.
The session will also briefly discuss the process of elaborating a guidance on implementing the UNGPs in the commodity trading sector, developed by the Swiss Government.

Session objectives:
  • Highlight challenges when implementing corporate human rights due diligence in commodity trading sector.
  • Unpack the different parameters of the concept of human rights due diligence for the commodity trading sector.
  • Identify good practices in this sector and potential solutions to address gaps.
  • Present the guidance document elaborated by the concerned stakeholder group in Switzerland.

Key discussion questions:
  • What are the peculiarities of commodity trading that make a specific approach necessary for undertaking human rights due diligence processes that are consistent with the UNGPs?
  • In which ways does the diversity of the commodity trading sector create challenges in implementing the UNGPs?
  • How should the Swiss government and other stakeholders support and ensure companies when implementing the guidance, given its legally non-binding nature?

Format of the session:
The opening presentation will offer a brief overview of the main goals, format and content of the sector guidance for commodity trading. This will be followed by a moderated conversation among industry and civil society stakeholders which have participated in drafting the guidance document. A representative from the OECD will also give his view on the guidance and its implementation. A representative of the Swiss government will underline expectations about the implementation of the UNGPs by the commodity trading sector. The moderator will then facilitate questions from participants.

Background to the discussion:
Determining the human rights impacts associated with the commodity trading sector is challenging, given for example the diversity of the sector, the complex and varied supply chains associated with specific commodities. Switzerland is one of the world’s most important commodity trading hubs. The commodity trading sector is characterized by a diverse mix of companies in terms of size, ownership, turnover and commodities traded. Questions are increasingly being raised relating to the responsibilities of trading companies on human rights, and related issues, such as corruption and environmental degradation. The Swiss Government has facilitated the creation of a multistakeholder group composed of representatives of the commodity trading sector, civil society and government. This group has supported the elaboration of the sector guidance for the commodity trading sector on implementation of the UNGPs. The guidance document is aligned with the Due Diligence Guidance elaborated by the OECD. It has been drafted by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB).

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for John Morrison

John Morrison

Coordinator, CorA Netzwork for Corporate Accountability

avatar for Yvan Maillard Ardenti

Yvan Maillard Ardenti

Programme Officer Business & Human Rights,, Bread for All
avatar for Frederic Chenais

Frederic Chenais

Policy advisor, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
Frederic Chenais is Policy Advisor at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs where he is in charge of matters related to commodities and human rights, with a special focus on the VPs and ICOCA. Previously, Frederic worked as Principal Advisor on communities relations for... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Gillard

Tyler Gillard

Head of Sector Projects and Legal Adviser, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
Tyler Gillard is the Head of Due Diligence and Senior Legal Adviser in the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct. He leads the OECD’s work on due diligence in the financial, textiles, mining & metals, oil & gas and agriculture sectors. Tyler joined the OECD in 2009 to lead... Read More →
avatar for Stéphane Graber

Stéphane Graber

Executive Secretary, Swiss Trading and Shipping Association

Wednesday November 28, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm CET