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Human rights due diligence [clear filter]
Monday, November 26


Disruptive technology I: what does artificial intelligence mean for human rights due diligence
Interpretation is provided in English, French and Spanish

Session organized by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Article One.

Brief description of the session:
Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform how we live, interact, work, do business, and govern. The human rights benefits of these disruptions could be significant, such as improved health diagnostics, enhanced education systems, better fraud prevention, and self-driving vehicles that improve road safety.
However, evidence is mounting about potential adverse human rights impacts too. This includes new forms of discrimination arising from algorithmic bias, increased potential of surveillance using facial recognition tools, and new risks to child rights as the volume of data collected about children increases substantially.
These diverse risks and opportunities are united by three key features: the complexity of the technologies being deployed; the speed with which impacts may take hold; and the considerable uncertainty about how AI will evolve.

Session objectives:
Share the process and findings from human rights impact assessments of AI, increase awareness of how AI can enhance due diligence, and stimulate new thinking about human rights due diligence methods capable of addressing an uncertain future.

Key discussion questions:
  • Can we build tools and methods equipped to address the complexity, speed, and uncertainty of AI?
  • What due diligence should be undertaken across the AI value chain, including during the use phase?
  • What is the respective role of technology and non-technology companies?
  • How can human rights due diligence be incorporated into product design?
  • How can AI be used to improve human rights due diligence?

This roundtable discussion will take the form of a participatory dialogue (no speeches) about emerging practices, challenges, and solutions for human rights due diligence in the context of AI.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Dunstan Allison-Hope

Dunstan Allison-Hope

Managing Director, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Dunstan leads BSR's human rights, inclusive economy, and women's empowerment practice areas. Dunstan's specialist fields are human rights due diligence in the technology sector and sustainability reporting and disclosure. Dunstan facilitated the multistakeholder process which led... Read More →
avatar for Faris Natour

Faris Natour

Co-Founder and Principal, Article One
Faris Natour is an internationally recognized expert with over fifteen years of experience working at the intersection of business and human rights. As Principal of Article One, Faris advises corporate and institutional clients across sectors and regions on human rights strategy and... Read More →

avatar for Steve Crown

Steve Crown

Deputy General Counsel, Human Rights, Microsoft
UNGPs. HRIAs. Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights.
avatar for Olga DiPretoro

Olga DiPretoro

Program Officer, Winrock International
Olga has been designing and managing programs that address human trafficking risks and promote human rights for the past decade. Her experience includes direct work with trafficking survivors, governments, civil society and the private sector in tackling systemic issues that enable... Read More →
avatar for Eimear Farrell

Eimear Farrell

Advocate and Advisor, Technology and Human Rights, Amnesty Tech, Amnesty International
avatar for Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Public Policy Manager, Human Rights and Internet Governance, Google
avatar for Minwoo Kim

Minwoo Kim

Research Professor, Korea University Human Rights Center
avatar for Padmini Ranganathan

Padmini Ranganathan

Global Vice President, Products & Innovation, SAP Ariba
- Applying technology to bring transparency in supply chains, to enable socially sustainable supply chains- Real world challenges in the areas of tracking and monitoring labor rights, fair wages and inclusion in all nodes of the supply chain
avatar for Sabrina Rau

Sabrina Rau

Senior Research Officer, Big Data and Technology Project, School of Law Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
Sabrina is a senior research officer for the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project focusing particularly on rights, regulations and remedies in the digital age with a particular focus on business and human rights. Her current research revolves around implementation of the... Read More →

Kelli Schlegel

Manager, Human Rights, Intel
Human Right and business, Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights.

Monday November 26, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm


Disruptive technology II: What does automation mean for human rights due diligence?
Interpretation is provided in English, French and Spanish

Organized by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by technological advance of unprecedented scale and velocity—carrying with it tremendous promise and risk. The automation of low-skilled jobs has the potential to bring positive human rights impacts, such as improved workplace safety. However, there is also a risk that the use of machines to increase productivity will result in mounting inequality through downward pressure on wages and loss of jobs. Workers in low-skilled positions, particularly in the apparel and electronics sectors in the Global South, face an increased risk of bearing the negative effects of automation. Women and migrant workers make up large portions of both of these workforces and as they tend to face greater discrimination in the workplace, may be more likely to be displaced by machines.

This session will explore emerging practices, challenges, and solutions for human rights due diligence in the context of automation. It will address the question of whether today’s human rights due diligence tools and methods are equipped to address the impacts of increased automation and explore good practices in human rights due diligence for companies. This session will strongly feature the perspectives and experiences of workers and will also touch on the importance of supportive policies and the role of government.

  • Catalyze companies, NGOs, government representatives and other stakeholders to acknowledge the human rights impacts of increased automation and mechanization within global supply chains, using apparel and electronics manufacturing as examples and by amplifying the voices of potentially affected workers;
  • Utilize existing frameworks to determine concrete steps key stakeholders and businesses should take to protect workers in their supply chains as their company or its suppliers increasingly integrate automation; and
  • Explore the shared responsibility of companies, governments, and other key stakeholders to protect the rights of workers and impacted communities throughout the transition to the future of work.

Discussion Segments
  • Segment 1 – framing comments on the human rights risks and potential positive benefits associated with automation and mechanization
  • Segment 2 – worker perspectives
  • Segment 3 – workshop to explore the application of existing frameworks in the context of human rights due diligence and the human rights risks to automation. Participants will not need to be familiar with the details of each framework, as each group will receive discussion questions, as well as the relevant points about the key concepts within each framework.
    • BSR Responsible Automation Framework
    • Just Transition Framework
    • Factory Closures and Retrenchment Best Practices
  • Segment 4 – report back and discussion

The session will take place in the form of a workshop and discussion with comments from key discussants representing workers, companies, civil society organisations, and governments. Key discussans will frame the discussion, provide unique perspectives, or lead discussion groups, depending on their role. Key discussants are intended to encourage interactivity and dialogue within workshop groups before the floor is opened up to discussion on the given framework. Moderators will also provide a brief summary of the discussion at the end of the session.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...

Phil Bloomer

Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
avatar for Meg Roggensack

Meg Roggensack

Interim Executive Director, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

avatar for Yousuf Aftab

Yousuf Aftab

Principal, Enodo Rights

Rob Johnston

Assistant Secretary General of the ITF, International Transport Workers' Federation
avatar for Abby Meaders-Henderson

Abby Meaders-Henderson

Legal & Policy Fellow, ICAR
Abby Henderson is a Legal and Policy Fellow at the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and an international human rights lawyer, admitted to practice in the state of Oklahoma. Abby currently supports ICAR’s projects on supply chain transparency and access to... Read More →
avatar for Padmini Ranganathan

Padmini Ranganathan

Global Vice President, Products & Innovation, SAP Ariba
- Applying technology to bring transparency in supply chains, to enable socially sustainable supply chains- Real world challenges in the areas of tracking and monitoring labor rights, fair wages and inclusion in all nodes of the supply chain
avatar for Philippe-André Rodriguez

Philippe-André Rodriguez

Senior Advisor, Global Affairs Canada’s Center for International Digital Policy
Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights, Big Data, Automation, Privacy, Data Governance

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


Forum debate: Are tech companies a threat to human rights?
Organized by the German Institute for human Rights

Background to the discussion:
Blanket statements about the internet’s role in society now and over the last twenty-five years almost all come across as banal. Whether in the global north or south, in developed or developing countries, in urban or rural areas, the vast majority of human lives are touched in some way by the internet. Even if its political implications originally seemed limited to things like freedom of speech, it is now clear from the events of the last ten years that the internet can topple dictatorships and serve as the catalyst for sweeping social movements—and that it can also fuel violence against minorities and derail elections by propagating conspiracy theories.
Private companies play a central role in all this. The internet itself is just a technical standard; it is private companies—social networks, chat software, news sites, payment providers—that determine what can be done with it, how, and by whom. They are the entities that shape what we really refer to when we talk about the societal phenomenon that is the internet. And so this session asks: are these companies a threat to human rights? Are they tools of liberation or surveillance service providers for oppressors? Experts in the field will step away from their normal positions and institutional roles and have a debate about first principles in a way rarely allowed for by panel discussions.

Session format:
The debate will follow the British parliamentary debate format, similar to the format used at the Oxford Union and elsewhere. The session will begin with four speakers, two in support of and two in opposition to the question. There will then be a brief period in which the floor is open to audience interventions in response to the speeches. The debate will be concluded by a final speech from each side, followed by an audience vote on the question.
The result of the vote will be announced at a drinks and canapes reception following the debate.

How to participate:
No advance registration is required. Audience members will have the opportunity to make spontaneous interventions during the middle part of the debate.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...

Christopher Schuller

German Institute for Human Rights

avatar for Isabel Ebert

Isabel Ebert

University of St. Gallen/Oxfor Internet Institute
Research Associate Big Data, AI, Ethics, Business & Human Rights at Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, visiting researcher Oxford Internet Institute. Former EU representative of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, background in Politics and Management... Read More →
avatar for Coraline Ada Ehmke

Coraline Ada Ehmke

Software engineer and creator of the Contributor Covenant, Contributor Covenant
My work centers on making the technology industry more welcoming and inclusive of people from marginalized populations.
avatar for Luis Neves

Luis Neves

Managing Director and CEO, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
Luis Neves was born in Covilhã, Portugal. In 1975 he finished his University degree in History. He worked for Marconi (today Portugal Telecom) as Head of Department and at the Corporate Office. Later he started an international career in Switzerland and developed an intensive activity... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 6:15pm - 7:45pm
Tuesday, November 27


Snapshot: Samsung - Human rights due diligence across the supply chain – Experiences from practice

Brief description of the presentation:
This snapshot presentation will discuss key elements of Samsung Electronics’ continuous journey on human rights due diligence, including practical experiences in aligning its business activities with the UN Guiding Principles.

Presentation objectives:
Samsung Electronics will share selected cases of the implementation of its commitment with regards to human rights due diligence, with examples from our global operations.

avatar for Linda Kromjong

Linda Kromjong

Global Labor & Human Rights Director, Samsung Electronics

Caleb Lee

VP Corporate Affairs Europe, Samsung Electronics

Tuesday November 27, 2018 9:45am - 10:00am
Wednesday, November 28


Scaling up human rights due diligence through the use of blockchain

Organized by Hermes Equity Ownership Services and DLA Piper

Short description of the session: 
This session will focus on what has been working, what is not working and where efforts are falling short by illustrating key practical challenges to effective human rights risk management and uptake of HRDD. By providing insights from investors, advisors and industry groups we will highlight practice based challenges related to a lack of traceability/transparency in a supply chain and across a corporate groups, which make human rights risks, bribery and corruption, money laundering, labour exploitation and related risks to people difficult to identify, prevent or manage.
Distributed ledger technology and responsible sourcing solutions providers, Everledger and RCS Global will share their experience working with a range of companies to develop practical solutions to increase transparency and improve human rights due diligence and risk management throughout supply chains, for example, blockchain innovations used to improve data collected along minerals and metals supply chains, which complement existing top down third party audit approach with bottom up data push by data generated by miners and other stakeholders related to human rights and related risks.
With this practice-based foundation, the session will then seek to draw in stakeholders' perspectives from the audience to collect insights and the experience of civil society, academics, businesses and other stakeholder groups in managing these issues to identify was to scale up the implementation of human rights due diligence in supply chains and corporate groups using emerging technology solutions, whilst also ensure that reducing risks to people is embedded into the development of these emerging solutions.

Session objectives:
Emerging technology does not provide a complete solution to the challenge of scaling up HRDD but it is an important piece to the puzzle by plugging gaps in current approaches, complementing existing processes and identifying new ways to identify and manage risks. This session has two key objectives:
  • Stimulate a discussion about the practical utility of emerging technology in supporting businesses reduce risks to people based on lessons from practice, as well as the key discussion questions that remain to be answered; and
  • Collect views of civil society, academics, businesses and other stakeholders on how to enhance these efforts and plug remaining gaps to move HRDD beyond the largest, first mover businesses. These contributions will be published following the session with a view to scaling up HRDD through the use of emerging technology.

Key discussion questions: 
  • What is not working and where efforts are falling short to implement effective human rights due diligence and risk management - insights from investors, advisors and industry groups on practice-based challenges related to a lack of traceability/transparency through supply chains and across corporate groups that mean human rights risks, ABC, AML, labour risks are difficult to identify and prevent or manage;
  • How emerging technology solutions like distributed ledger technology can address some of these challenges; and
  • What gaps remain in utilising technology to enhance HRDD and ensure businesses are able to reduce risks to people

Format of the session:
The moderator will guide an interactive discussion by opening with  short contributions on the practical challenges in implementing corporate HRDD and further ideas from speakers' own experience related to the use of technology and blockchain to address human rights risks in supply chains. The discussion will then focus on collecting contributions from civil society, academics, businesses and additional stakeholder groups on the topics and issues raised, which will be captured and released in the form of a summary after the panel and as contributions to a discussion paper that the session organizers are developing.

Background to the discussion: 
Practical challenges in managing complex global supply chains make corporate human rights due diligence efforts challenging, for instance, when a business comprises of a large groups of companies the DD that is increasingly expected is onerous (resources and cost) and often difficult to do effectively; methods of identifying risks down the supply chain have their shortcomings which mean risks aren't adequately identified and managed e.g. social/third party audits.
Recently, technological innovations have begun to transforming the way businesses increase transparency, manage risks and create value. Distributed Ledger Technology ("DLT"), commonly known as blockchain technology, is behind a wave of innovation that has the potential to revolutionise the way global businesses operate across a range of sectors.
This session will provide civil society, academic, business and government stakeholders to contribute stakeholders consultations looking at how emerging technologies can support supply chain human rights risk management to be included in a discussion paper being drafted that will seek to outline some of the potential opportunities and challenges presented by DLT to manage human rights and responsible business conduct risks in supply chains and increase transparency.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Sarah Ellington

Sarah Ellington

Dispute resolution lawyer, DLA Piper
Sarah has over 10 years’ experience resolving disputes using both formal and informal mechanisms for governments, governmental agencies and international organisations, as well as multinational corporations.Sarah advises clients across a number of sectors on risk management and... Read More →

avatar for Nicky Black

Nicky Black

Director, Environmental Stewardship and Social Progress, International Council on Mining and Metals

Claire Gavini

Engagement, Hermes Investment Management
avatar for Darcy Hoogewerf

Darcy Hoogewerf

Product and Business Analyst, Everledger
Specialist in using emerging technology for raw material supply chains. Interested in how technology can play a role in helping and transforming responsible souring of material with the power of networks through collaboration.

Ferdinand Maubrey

Managing Director, RCS Global

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