Log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Stakeholder engagement [clear filter]
Monday, November 26

9:00am CET

Voices from the ground

Convened by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco-growing (ECLT), The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA), Dhaatri Resource Centre for Women and Children's Rights, Global Witness and Rafto Foundation for Human Rights

Short description of the session:
This trailblazing session will feature a panel made up of only human rights defenders and community representatives from all regions, who will speak frankly about their stories and experiences of working to improve business respect for human rights in their countries, as well as the attacks they are under because of doing so. The session will be divided into three parts: the first part with focus on ways in which they’ve successfully defended themselves and achieved their goals this year, the second part will identify the common challenges that defenders and community representatives face in their work, and the third part will outline what they want to see between now and the next forum. We will leave enough time for interaction with the audience after each segment.
This session will offer an insight into the lives and struggles of defenders and community representatives, and outline a set of their core challenges and expectations to businesses, investors and governments, thus setting the scene for the 7th Forum on Business and Human Rights.

Session objectives:
The session will provide a “reality-check” early on in the Forum, and outline a set of core challenges and expectations by defenders and community representatives to businesses and governments, thus setting the scene for the 7th Forum on Business and Human Rights. The goal of the first part will be discuss ways that they’ve successfully defended themselves and achieved their goals so far, the objective of the second part will be to identify common challenges that defenders face in their work, and the objective of the third part will be to for defenders and community representatives to voice their expectations to the forum (governments, businesses, and investors).

Key discussion questions:
  • 1st part: focuses on ways in which they’ve successfully defended themselves and achieved their goals so far
    Question(s) to speakers: What was your main achievement in your work as a defender or community representatives this year? Why do you do what you do and what keeps you going?  
    Sub-questions: What were the main things that helped you and your colleagues continue defending human rights in the context of business operations in your country over the past year (coalitions, partnerships, new approaches to work, financial support, new laws, support from community/ family/ friends, religion, etc.)
  • 2nd part: focuses on challenges HRDs face in their work
    Question(s) to speakers: Who prevents you from advocating for rights in your country and how? What are the main types of attack you and your colleagues have faced in defending human rights in business operations in your country this year?
  • 3rd part: focuses on what they would like to ask from the forum (govts, businesses, investors) - what do they want to see between now and the next forum
    Question(s) to be asked to speakers: What are the main things that you would like to see businesses, investors and governments do in the coming year, that would  improve the safety for and prevent attacks on defenders working for human rights in business in your country, and improve business respect for human rights? 

Format of the session:
The session will open with a question or two to the audience to get them engaged early on. It will then be divided into three parts: the first part will identify ways in which they’ve successfully defended themselves and achieved their goals so far, the second will identify challenges that defenders face in their work, and the third part will outline what they would like to ask from the forum (governments, businesses, and investors) and what do they want to see between now and the next forum. We will leave enough time for interaction with the audience after each segment, so that governments, investors and businesses, can voice their proposals and feedback, and so that defenders and community representatives that won’t get a chance to speak on the panel, will have the opportunity to also share their stories (time permitting). The role of the moderator will be to engage the audience and to summarize the challenges and the demands voiced by the defenders.
In terms of identifying and voicing expectations, the speakers and the moderator will, to the extent possible, surface and built upon existing demands, such as the Action plan from the World HRDs Summit, the joint statement from 40+ civil society organizations from 2016, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders’ reports on the topic and other relevant material.

Background to the discussion:
Business and civil society operate in and benefit from a “shared space” defined by common, fundamental elements. The rule of law and freedom of expression, association and assembly are essential to the realization of all human rights, to good governance and accountable institutions. These elements are also critical to stable, profitable and sustainable business environments in which companies thrive and economies prosper. Standards and practices have evolved over the last two decades to encourage or require companies to respect human rights. Moreover, company engagement and consultation with local communities and stakeholders is overcoming conflict and confrontation in places and ways that encourage further progress. However, this shared space is under threat, not least through a sustained and growing attack on defenders wherever businesses have failed to comply with and respect due diligence national laws, standards and national and international human rights protocols. Alarmingly, in the last decade, HRDs have increasingly come under massive attack. Since 2015, there have been over 1,300 attacks on HRDs working human rights issues related to business, including almost 400 killings. Workers were exposed to physical violence and threats in 65 countries in 2018 and trade unionists were murdered in nine countries in the first half of that year. Journalists are increasingly being imprisoned and attacked – 262 journalists were imprisoned in 2017 and 29 journalists have been killed in 2018. Civicus data indicates that only 3% of people on the planet live in countries with truly ‘open civic space’. These pressures and attacks undermine the legal and institutional frameworks upon which both business and civil society depend. For the business and human rights agenda to continue moving forward, defenders, and the civic freedoms they need to do their work, must be recognized as a vital and inescapable part of ensuring human rights respect in business operations. Defenders cannot play that role without solid guarantees of safety and security. States have primary role in ensuring corporates respect constitutional frameworks and set in place governance machinery, regulatory mechanisms, legal and policy structures and resources as well as place the upholding of human rights and well-being of all its citizens at the core of its development economy.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Debbie Stothard

Debbie Stothard

Coordinator/Founder, ALTSEAN
Grassroots-centered initiatives, youth activism. Women's leadership, atrocity prevention, BHR.


Saeeda Kathoum

spokes-person, Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association


Olman represents his fellow students and his community in Western Guatemala. Though he has returned to his studies, Olman is a former child labourer who will share about the realities he and other young people like him face accessing education, working from a young age. As the first-ever... Read More →
avatar for Emmanuel Umpula

Emmanuel Umpula

Directeur, AFREWATCH
M. Umpula Nkumba Emmanuel, est directeur et fondateur de Afrewatch (AFREWATCH), il est juriste et travaille depuis 2002 à la défense et la promotion des droits de l'homme en RDC et en Afrique sur les entreprises et les droits de l'homme. Pendant son parcours, il a occupé plusieurs... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am CET
Room XX

9:00am CET

Academic Networks in Conversation with Business and Human Rights Stakeholders

Organized by Academic Friends of the OECD Guidelines, BHRights Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching on Business and Human Rights, Business and Human Rights Young Researchers, Business Schools Promoting Business and Human Rights, European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization, International Law Association Reading Group on Business and Human Rights, Oxford Business and Human Rights Network.

Brief description of the session:
This session will explore the complex role of business & human rights academic networks of research and teaching in the business and human rights field. Building on the diverse roles that academic networks (understood in a broad sense) can fulfil - such as interpreting, training, facilitating, validating, expert cooperation and consulting - the roundtable aims to open the floor for a wide critical engagement with stakeholders in order to unpack the contribution that academic activities bring to various business and human rights stakeholders and in order to explore new ways of enhancing stakeholder engagement as well as impact.

Session objectives: 
This session aims to:
  • Stimulate an interactive discussion with all BHR stakeholders on the role of BHR academic, research and teaching networks and of the multiple perspectives they bring to BHR.
  • Provide a platform for multi-stakeholder discussion about whether and how the academics and BHR research and teaching networks, themselves as stakeholders, contribute to shaping the BHR discourse, policy and practice.
  • Explore how the BHR networks shape and advance our understanding of how to effectively address corporate human rights challenges
  • Reflect on how to preserve critical engagement and independence of thinking in a highly polarised and politicised environment.

Key discussion questions:
  • How do research and teaching in these networks help advance the BHR thinking and practice? Which audiences and stakeholders do they reach or should aim to reach?
  • How do they contribute to identifying and building on what works in BHR?
  • What is the role of ‘action research’ within the BHR scholarly networks? To what extent do the BHR networks engage directly yet critically within the field?
  • What is the ‘sphere of influence’ of such BHR networks? How could researchers and BHR networks contribute to enhancing the impact of research results and insights within universities and business schools, as well as externally, among other stakeholders such as businesses, NGOs, government, the media?
  • Where do research and teaching on BHR happen and to what extent do other stakeholders have access to those knowledge platforms? Are there regional distinctions? Where are the gaps?
  • Should interdisciplinarity be put more firmly on the agenda, promoting systematic collaborations in research and through co-teaching modules? Would (global interdisciplinary) teaching programs (whether in academic or professional settings) be of more use?
  • What is the social responsibility that is at stake here? To what extent are these networks developing a ‘scholarly due diligence’, that embeds meaningful engagement with stakeholders?
  • Do BHR networks contribute to creating synergies between research and teaching in the field?
  • Should research or teaching within these networks be aligned or would this hamper innovative thinking? What is the scope of stakeholder engagement in these activities?
  • To what extent are BHR research and scholarship being shaped by funding opportunities or the lack thereof? How can the networks engage with stakeholders – government, businesses, funding bodies – in order to secure both sustainability and impact in research?

Tentative agenda:
Part I - Introduction by the represented networks
Representatives from the different BHR networks organizing the session will commence with short introductory remarks, presenting briefly selected issues for reflection and debate.

Part II -  Multi-stakeholder dialogue 
The questions set out for discussion will be used to stimulate debate and stakeholder engagement, inviting the audience to reflect on those issues and to identify additional ideas for advancing BHR research and teaching within a multi-stakeholder perspective.

Stakeholders that wish to engage with the proposed issues and share their experience and perspective on being part of a BHR network or on engaging as stakeholders with BHR scholarly platforms will be invited to share their perspective during short interventions of 2-3 minutes or by raising questions and taking part in the debate. The BHR stakeholders and networks that are considering participating in the session with a tabled intervention are encouraged to pre-register, by emailing the organisers at a.voiculescu@westminster.ac.uk. Participants may also submit written statements, before or soon after the session. In the hope of continuing the dialogue, following the debate, the roundtable organisers will aim to disseminate a brief report, summarising the session’s key points. This will be based on the discussion, tabled interventions and submitted written contributions.

Background to the discussion: 
In the past years, a number of academic, research and teaching networks have emerged in the business and human rights (BHR) arena, becoming both creations and co-creators of the BHR field. Reflecting the complex make-up of the field itself, the focus of these networks varies greatly, yet they all aspire to address the points of tension between business activities and human rights, as well as the global challenges that stem from these points of tension. Some of these networks take a broad approach, engaging actively - through research and teaching - with all fields of BHR reflection, policy and practice, while others support specific instruments, such as the UNGPs, the OECD Guidelines or the Global Compact; some engage specific stakeholders - immigrant workers, indigenous populations, refugees - while yet others focus on growing - in classrooms and amphitheatres - generations of BHR-minded lawyers, business managers, financial advisers or, indeed, researchers; some aim for a global reach, while others have a regional or local focus; some are discipline-anchored (management, organization studies, business ethics or law), while others put forth interdisciplinary approaches. In this context, BHR networks develop – and depend – on complex interactions with multiple stakeholders.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Aurora Voiculesu

Aurora Voiculesu

Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and Human Rights, University of Westminster

avatar for Michael Addo

Michael Addo

Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
avatar for Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

Research Director, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights
Dorothée Baumann-Pauly is a business ethics scholar with extensive practical experience working on the implementation of human rights in multi-stakeholder settings. Since 2013, she is the Director of Research at the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, managing its strategic... Read More →
avatar for Björn Fasterling

Björn Fasterling

Professor of Law, Head of Faculty Accounting, Control and Legal Affairs, EDHEC Business School
avatar for Raymond Saner

Raymond Saner

Director CSEND in Geneva and Co-chair of the academic network of the OECD RBC Guidelines, Professor, Basel University and Science Po in Paris
I'm a student of the LLM Program Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. I'm looking for the internship or entry-level position.
avatar for Florian Wettstein

Florian Wettstein

Director, Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen
CRAAD-OI is a Panafrican Organization based in Madagascar which  promotes sustainable development alternatives that are centered on the realization of human rights and based on the principles of gender equality, social, economic and ecological justice.

Monday November 26, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am CET

1:30pm CET

Driving human rights performance from the top in the mining sector – the role of the board and investors

Background to the discussion:
In January this year, Blackrock’s Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Fink, wrote an open letter to business leaders noting that, “to sustain… performance, you must understand the societal impact of your business”. Businesses have the potential to impact society in a range of ways, negatively and positively. Implementing the UN Guiding Principles allows companies to understand and address some of these potential impacts as they relate to human rights.  
Good governance and a strong board are critical to making respect for human rights part of how business gets done, thereby advancing a range of human rights in society, while protecting and creating value for the business. As Fink noted, “a company’s ability to manage environmental, social and governance matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is so essential to sustainable growth.” Board engagement is essential to improved performance over the long term, in providing rigorous oversight and accountability, in developing strategy and articulating purpose and responding to questions that are increasingly important to its investors, its consumers, and the communities in which it operates.

Key questions:
  • What does the board see from a governance perspective and what expertise do they bring to the table?
  • What do they discuss and how do they work with their CEO and management team in and out of the boardroom to manage risks to business and risks to people, reputation and long-term value to shareholders?
  • What challenges and opportunities do they see for improving performance in their sector? 
Jane Nelson, Board member of  Newmont, will offer her perspective on why this agenda matters to Newmont and how she is working with Newmont’s leadership to drive it forward, including highlighting some of the challenges they face in practice. 
Human rights have long been a concern of socially responsible investors, but there are indications that human rights are moving onto the agenda of mainstream investors. Why does this matter to investors and what do they expect to see in terms of board oversight and governance?
Tom Butler, CEO of ICMM, a CEO -led association of 27 global mining companies, will talk to the commitments ICMM member companies make on board oversight and governance and share reflections from the industry on investor engagement on social issues and human rights.

This session will provide an opportunity for an interactive and constructive discussion where participants are able to engage directly with senior leaders on key human rights topics, with a focus on driving performance through knowing, showing and acting. It will complement the opening plenary session on the role of CEOs/ Senior management on leading from the top (see below).
The format and structure will be guided by input from the speakers and the moderator. One suggestion is that each panel member has 5 minutes for an opening pitch to the floor and then the moderator leads a discussion across the panel on 2-3 substantive issues before opening to the floor. We can gather Q&A from the floor during the session and pull them together for the moderator to select and ask.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Caroline Rees

Caroline Rees

President, Shift
Caroline Rees is President and Co-Founder of Shift. Shift is a non-profit mission-driven organization that works across all continents and sectors to challenge assumptions, push boundaries, and redefine corporate practice, in order to build a world where business gets done with respect... Read More →

avatar for Tom Butler

Tom Butler

CEO, International Council on Mining and Metals
avatar for John Howchin

John Howchin

Secretary General, Swedish Council on Ethics for the AP Funds
I have worked with socially responsible investments and corporate social responsibility for over 20 years, cross all sectors and all around the world. Happy to talk about everything relevant.

Andy Jones

Head of Mining, Hermes Asset Management

Jane Nelson

Director of Corporate Responsibility Initiative and Newmont Board member, Harvard Kennedy School
Jane Nelson has worked in the field of corporate responsibility and public-private partnerships for almost 30 years working with organizations such as The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact... Read More →

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

2:15pm CET

Snapshot: The French Duty of Vigilance - Lessons learned and Guidance on Vigilance Plans

Brief description of the presentation:
 This presentation will rely on the reference guidance on the duty of vigilance developed by Sherpa (the "VPRG"). It will give an overview of the aspects of published Vigilance Plans that most need improvement for the second round of implementation of the law in 2019. In particular, issues of disclosure and follow-up on implementation of vigilance measures will be addressed.

Presentation objectives: 
This presentation should inform civil society’s advocacy strategies around the Vigilance Law. The elements presented could also be of utmost importance for companies wanting to comply thoroughly with the law to circumvent the risk of litigation. Indeed, it should be recalled that the Law’s judicial enforcement mechanisms will be applicable from the spring 2019.

avatar for Sandra Cossart

Sandra Cossart

Executive Director, Sherpa
Sandra Cossart is an international lawyer and Sherpa’s Executive Director. After starting her career within the EU institutions, she worked as a corporate lawyer and legal consultant in Paris, Russia and England. She joined Sherpa in 2010 and was at the forefront of some important... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 2:15pm - 2:30pm CET

3:00pm CET

Integrating indigenous peoples rights in human rights due diligence: what does it mean in practice?
Interpretation is provided in English, French and Spanish
Brief description of the session and session objectives: 

The objectives of this session are to: (1) discuss good practices from the perspective of the indigenous rights holders, lessons-learned, gaps, and challenges to strengthen the implementation of FPIC, in particular the significance of community protocols in the context of business activities and (2) identify factors for an enabling environment for respecting indigenous peoples’ rights and effective implementation of FPIC process.

Background to the discussion:

Following the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a growing number of investors, financial institutions and businesses in a range of sectors have developed, or are in the process of developing, safeguard policies that require them to respect indigenous peoples’ rights, especially their right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as part of the human rights due diligence expected of them and social license to operate. Furthermore, indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and to lands, territories and resources have been gaining support and attention at different levels. However, a growing body of decisions of UN human rights bodies, regional and national courts and complaint mechanisms such as the OECD National Contract Points demonstrate that indigenous peoples continue to be the victims of human rights abuses associated with business activities.
At the same time, indigenous peoples are increasingly developing their own protocols and policies, which provide guidance to States and corporations on how to consult with them and seek their FPIC in accordance with their right to self-determination and their customary decision-making practices. Communities from the Murut Tahol Community in Alutok, Ulu Tomani, Tenom, Malyasia as well as the Juruna People in the Brazilian Amazon and the Embera Chami in Colombia, are among those who have developed such protocols. These protocols reflect the community's identity, culture, ways of life and the interconnection of territories, peoples and nature. They highlight the central importance of respect for indigenous peoples’ rights, including their self-determination right to decide their own plans, priorities and visions for their futures and the related right of communities to make decisions on externally proposed projects in or near their territories.
The UN Forum on Business and Human Rights is unique in that it provides all parties involved in such projects, i.e. States, private sector actors and indigenous peoples, a space in which to dialogue and to ensure that the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are effective for indigenous peoples, particularly in relation to their collective rights to self-determination, FPIC and lands, territories and resources.

Key discussion questions:
  • What were the different contexts that community protocols have played a role (or could play a role) in facilitating meaningful FPIC processes?
  • To what extent do community protocols address the role of governments in human rights due diligence and FPIC and the corresponding responsibilities of corporations?
  • What are the experiences of implementing FPIC processes in different regions and are there good practices that can be replicated by other indigenous communities or adopted by States or private sectors in their policies and guidelines?
Format of the session: 

The event will consist of a panel discussion with brief case study presentations followed by a 50-minute interactive discussion with session participants. The focus will be on how to ensure the effective implementation of consultation and FPIC in the context of business activities and the role which indigenous peoples’ consultation and FPIC protocols can play in this regard.
Indigenous community representatives from three regions (Asia, Latin America and Africa) will present their experience with consultation and FPIC processes and their views on the importance and benefits of consultation and free prior and informed consent (FPIC) protocols that are developed by indigenous peoples themselves.
The floor will be opened to participants to raise questions and present their perspectives on and experiences with consultation and FPIC processes and on related protocols developed by indigenous peoples. This part of the session will be “talk show format”, with the participants having the opportunity to raise questions amongst each other as in a public dialogue or engage with the panel.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...

Mary Ann Bayang

the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education
avatar for Cathal Doyle

Cathal Doyle

Research Fellow, Middlesex University London School of Law
Research fellow at Middlesex University London School of Law and member of the European Network on Indigenous Issues (ENIP)
avatar for Lea Nicholas-MacKenzie,

Lea Nicholas-MacKenzie,

Special Advisor for Indigenous Issues to the Canadian government, Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
Lea Nicholas-MacKenzie is a member of the Wəlastəkwey nation (Maliseet First Nation) in New Brunswick, Canada.Ms. Nicholas-MacKenzie has served in a variety of public and private sector capacities. Most recently, she was Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General... Read More →

avatar for Windel Bolinget

Windel Bolinget

Chaiperson, Cordillera Peoples Alliance, the Philippines, Cordillera Peoples Alliance and KATRIBU, Philippines
I am an Indigenous Bontok-Kankanaey of the Igorot peoples of northern Luzon, Philippines. I am the Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the National Co-Convenor of KATRIBU, the national alliance of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. I have been an activist... Read More →

Nicholas Cotts

Vice President - Sustainability and External Relations, Newmont Mining Corporation
avatar for Mali Ole Kaunga

Mali Ole Kaunga

Director/Founder, IMPACT/ PARAN alliance Kenya
Mali Ole Kaunga is a laikipia Maasai, the founder and Director of OSILIGI(Organisation for the Survival of IL- Laikipiak Maasai Indigenous Group Initiatives) that translate to HOPE in Maasai. OSILIGI later transformed into IMPACT (Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict... Read More →

Ana Laynez

Indigenous authority, Ixil indigenous community, Guatemala

Monday November 26, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm CET
Tuesday, November 27

9:00am CET

Snapshot: New insights? Labour governance in the garment industry

Brief description of the presentation:
We provide insights from the Garment Supply Chain Governance Project (www.garmentgov.de), a global coalition of academic researchers, researching the evolution of labour governance in garment value chains since the shocking collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. We present findings based on original survey and interview data from Bangladeshi workers, factory managers and global garment brands and retailers. Our worker survey provides a unique insight into workers’ perceptions of the changes brought by the Accord and Alliance in Bangladesh. We report on improvements perceived by workers, as well as areas where they note little change. Factory managers describe a transformation of safety culture, but also serious concerns regarding the implications of the Accord and Alliance. Finally, we outline the key trends and challenges in the labour governance practices of global brands and retailers identified by our research.

Presentation objectives: 
To report on the impact of post-Rana Plaza changes on Bangladeshi garment workers, factories and global brands.

avatar for Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander

Research Officer, London School of Economics and Political Science
avatar for Sarah Ashwin

Sarah Ashwin

Professor of Comparative Employment Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science
I am a Professor of Employment Relations in the Department of Management at the London School of Economics. My research interests are in Corporate Social Responsibility and International Labour Standards; employment relations; gender, employment and households, as well as employment... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 9:00am - 9:15am CET

10:00am CET

Plenary II: Building coherence and reaching scale on human rights due diligence – International organizations' leadership perspectives

Interpretation is provided in English, French, Spanish and Korean.

Under the title “Building coherence and reaching scale on human rights due diligence – International organizations' leadership perspectives”, the plenary convenes senior leaders from the UN and international organizations working to promote responsible business conduct and sustainability.
The high-level plenary provides an opportunity for signaling alignment of international standards and action to promote corporate respect for human rights, as well as for reinforcing the message that business respect for human rights must be at the heart of corporate contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A central aim is to signal alignment on the importance of corporate human rights due diligence to enable business enterprises meet their responsibility to respect human rights.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the... Read More →

avatar for Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
On September 1, 2018 Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.Ms. Bachelet was elected President of Chile... Read More →
avatar for Lise Kingo

Lise Kingo

CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Lise Kingo is the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, which is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with more than 13,500 signatories from 170 countries that have committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles... Read More →
avatar for Masamichi Kono

Masamichi Kono

Deputy Secretary-General, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Mr. Masamichi Kono was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD in August 2017. His portfolio includes the strategic direction of OECD policy on Environment, Development, Green Growth, Science and Technology Policy and Innovation, Financial and Enterprise Affairs and Anti-C... Read More →
avatar for Guy Ryder

Guy Ryder

Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder took office on 1 October 2012. Guy Ryder sees the ILO as absolutely central to the questions of the day: jobs, social protection, the fight against poverty, and equality. For this reason, he wants to reinforce the ILO's place at the centre of international... Read More →
avatar for Haoliang Xu

Haoliang Xu

Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Haoliang Xu was appointed Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific by the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2013. Previously, Mr. Xu was Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 10:00am - 11:15am CET
Room XX

10:30am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence - Challenges and business pathways (case of the project operator)

Brief presentation of the presentation:
Sakhalin Energy will present the main challenges that a large project operator encounters when introducing and implementing human rights standards across supply chain partners, as well as the practical tools from the company’s experience allowing to address these challenges.

Presentation objectives:
The session will focus on thorough bidding process, human rights inclusive contract management, trainings/awareness raising for internal/external stakeholders, tools of contractors’ monitoring and audits.


Valentin Zhovtun

Social Performance Specialist, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

Tuesday November 27, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am CET

11:30am CET

Safeguarding human rights defenders: new efforts and tackling growing threats

Organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with: 
  • Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  • Global Witness
  • International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • International Service for Human Rights
  • Peace Brigades International
  • Rafto Foundation for Human Rights

Brief description of the session :

The need for enhancing protection of human rights defenders who speak up against business-related human rights impacts is a standing item on the Forum’s agenda. This session led by the UN Working Group in collaboration with NGOs is envisaged to consist of two parts:
  1. The first part of the session will be dedicated to showcasing new efforts to strengthen corporate respect and support for human rights defenders. Presentations will be brief, but meant to highlight encouraging initiatives and action.
  2. The second part of the session will focus on the growing trend of criminalization and legal harassment of defenders who speak up against business-related impacts and identify concrete action to be taken by governments, business and others to address it. The panel aims to identify what "human rights due diligence" is needed and what are some of the practical considerations for preventing that companies become involved in criminalization and legal harassment of defenders who engage in legitimate efforts to address potential and actual adverse impacts. This will include identifying steps to be taken by:
  • home States
  • host States
  • companies that cause negative impacts and who are the main targets of criticism
  • companies that have business relationships to those causing the abuse (typically transnational corporations and their responsibility to address impacts in their supply chain)
  • investors
  • companies that invest in contexts where criminalization of human rights defenders is a salient issue
Background to the discussion:

Threats to human rights defenders and to civic freedoms are increasing concerns globally. A large number of human rights defenders are under threat and attack because they raise concern about adverse human rights impacts of business operations, often in the context of large development projects that affects access to land and livelihoods. At the same time, the space for civil society actors to raise concerns about human rights impacts is shrinking, and human rights defenders face criminalization when engaging in public protest or civil dissent.
Concerns are being raised about the role of business in contributing to attacks against human rights defenders or in failing to take action against such attacks. Questions are also being raised about the role of business in helping to protect human rights defenders and civic space.
States have the primary obligation to ensure the rights and protection of human rights defenders, as set out in various human rights instruments – in particular the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders – and as reaffirmed in many UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions, including through the March 2016 resolution on the protection of human rights defenders working on economic, social and cultural rights.
The importance of human rights defenders in the context of business-related impacts on human rights is recognized by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They highlight the key role human rights defenders can have in human rights due diligence and enabling companies to understand concerns of affected stakeholders. In particular, the Guiding Principles:
  • Urge businesses to consult human rights defenders as an important expert resource as part of their human rights due diligence, as defenders have a key role as watchdogs, advocates and voice for affected stakeholders.
  • Urge States to ensure that the legitimate activities of human rights defenders are not obstructed.


Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Ms. Anita Ramasastry is the Roland L. Hjorth Professor of Law and the Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development at the University of Washington School Of Law. She researches and teaches in the fields of law and development, anti-corruption, international... Read More →

avatar for Brittany Benowitz

Brittany Benowitz

Chief Counsel, ABA Center for Human Rights
I run a program at the American Bar Association that provides pro bono assistance to human rights defenders who face retaliation for their work.
avatar for Bennett Freeman

Bennett Freeman

Co-founder and Board Secretary, Global Network Initiative (GNI)
Over the last 17 years of a three decade-long career, Bennett Freeman has worked at the intersection of multinational companies, responsible investors, NGOs, governments and international institutions to promote corporate responsibility, sustainability and human rights around the... Read More →
avatar for Andreas Graf

Andreas Graf

Head of Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination, FIFA
Andreas Graf is Head of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination at FIFA. Andreas coordinates FIFA's work to embed respect for human rights throughout the organisation's operations and relationships. He holds a PhD in political science.
avatar for Johanna Molina Miranda

Johanna Molina Miranda

Researcher on Human Rights and Business, CREER
Lawyer, Specialist in International Law of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law with studies in Politics and International Security and currently studying for a Masters in Public International Law. She has experience in the public sector, as well as research and training... Read More →
avatar for Mohammad Nayyeri

Mohammad Nayyeri

Justice for Iran
Mohammad Nayyeri is an Iranian Attorney at Law specialising in human rights with substantial work experience within Iranian legal system. He has acted as legal advisor for a number of human rights NGOs and his research papers and legal commentaries regarding the Iranian legal system... Read More →
avatar for Ana Sandoval

Ana Sandoval

Peaceful Resistance “La Puya”, Guatemala, Peaceful Resistance “La Puya”, Guatemala
avatar for Lorenzo Urbinati

Lorenzo Urbinati

Programme Manager, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
avatar for Clément Nyaletsossi Voule

Clément Nyaletsossi Voule

UN Special Rapporteur on Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association
Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association. Prior to his appointment, he led the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) work to support human rights defenders from States in transition and coordinated... Read More →

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

11:45am CET

Snapshot: Konica Minolta - What motivates this global technology company’s commitment to human rights and what outcomes have been achieved – experiences from practice

Brief description of the presentation:
Konica Minolta Australia will present its experiences in implementing an extensive range of community engagement programs and championing a broad range of social justice issues, including advocating for an Australian Modern Slavery Act which would compel Australian companies above a specified revenue threshold to report annually to government on their initiatives to ensure their supply chains are free from modern slavery and other forms of human rights abuse. Among aspects covered, the presentation will share insights from building capability to manage human rights risks in the supply chain ahead of being compelled to by legislation. The presentation will feature experiences and the unintended positive outcomes around growth in staff engagement and enhanced commercial outcomes.

Presentation objectives:
Sharing experiences and the unintended positive outcomes around growth in staff engagement and enhanced commercial outcomes.

avatar for David Cooke

David Cooke

Chair & Managing Director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia
As well as managing Konica Minolta (a global Japanese tech company) in Australia I am also a non-executive director of the UN Global Compact Network in Australia and of Sustainalytics (a global ESG research & analysis firm). My human rights work has been focused on ending human trafficking... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:45am - 12:00pm CET

12:15pm CET

Snapshot: From commitment to action - Advancing decent work in global supply chains with SAP Ariba

Brief description of the presentation:
To advance the Sustainable Development Goals — adhering to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and taking into account their interlinkages and reinforcing effects — companies participating in the UN Global Compact Action Platform on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains are committing to 6 actions based on communication, transparency, engagement, leadership, collaboration, and accountability. As patron sponsor of the Action Platform, SAP Ariba will share its approach towards advancing these commitments. James Marland, SPA Ariba’s VP of Network Growth, will discuss how the company is taking innovative action to promote universal respect for human rights through its supply chain.

Presentation objectives:
The presentation will highlight how innovative tools and technological solutions can contribute to more effective human rights due diligence across supply chains. It will share cross-cutting solutions to accelerate efforts in realizing the rights of workers, their families and their communities, and it will showcase the value of peer learning, collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships through the UN Global Compact Action Platform.

avatar for Lise Kingo

Lise Kingo

CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Lise Kingo is the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, which is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with more than 13,500 signatories from 170 countries that have committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles... Read More →
avatar for James Marland

James Marland

VP, Network Growth at SAP Ariba
Storyteller. Educating companies of all sizes the benefits of Going Digital with Business Networks. James is uniquely positioned to drive the connection of the world's companies together with the SAP Business Network. For too long companies have focused on their internal processes... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 12:15pm - 12:30pm CET

3:15pm CET

Snapshot: The use of the Universal Period Review (UPR) mechanism as a tool to prevent Business related human rights abuses
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
When issues of resettlement or recognition of land rights are not properly managed in the context large scale infrastructure or extractives projects, this may trigger violence and abuses of individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples.
The UPR provides an international mechanism for indigenous organizations and civil society organizations to raise awareness of such impacts. They have been using UPR as a tool to raise concerns with third countries on the impact of human rights abuses caused by investments and trade, and to influence policy makers in order to improve regulatory and monitoring frameworks (with civil society participation).

Presentation objectives:
The presentation will showcase of how UPR can positively contribute to the development of national plans on business and human rights possibly leading to concrete policy and legal developments to prevent future human rights abuses. The presenters will also discuss what avenues may be taken in order to balance the legitimate right of the State to promote investment projects of national interest with the conservation of ecosystems and the respect of human rights of indigenous peoples. This includes their right to participate in the whole investment project cycle, in line with the requirement set out in the UN Guiding Principles and other international human rights instruments.


Adolfo López

Human Rights Defender, COICA (Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica)

Tuesday November 27, 2018 3:15pm - 3:30pm CET

4:00pm CET

Snapshot: Building Trust between Human Rights Defenders and Financial Actors

Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
Civil society organizations (CSO) working to defend communities in the face of corporate human rights harms are fast becoming attuned to the role that institutional investors and corporate lenders play in incentivizing good corporate conduct. At the same time, we are witnessing a sea change in the way in which investors consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk. After years of debate over whether ESG investment pays, increasingly institutional investors are concluding that it does. These developments mark a critical moment in the effort to improve corporate human rights conduct. The next step is to strengthen communications and collaboration between civil society organizations and financial actors so that financial risks can be accurately identified and addressed.

Presentation objectives:
This snapshot will present the case for a CSO-Investor Dialogue Table, scheduled to start in early 2019. The purpose of the Dialogue Table is to build trust between financial professionals and human rights advocates in order to produce effective collaboration on human rights. For CSOs, the Dialogue Table is an opportunity to present the perspective of the victims of human rights violations and explain what they believe financial professionals need to do in order to prevent, mitigate and remediate those violations. For investors, it will be an opportunity to demystify civil society concerns in a safe setting, jointly develop solutions and to take appropriate measures to prevent human rights risks

avatar for Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Co-Founder, Rights CoLab
I cofounded Rights CoLab two years ago to innovate human rights strategies in a time of closing civic space that bridge the fields of business, finance, technology, and civil society. I lead projects on integrating human rights into capital markets and on human rights-compatible models... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 4:00pm - 4:15pm CET

4:15pm CET

Snapshot: NHRIs and Business: Working Together to Advance Human Rights
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation: 
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) promote, protect and advance human rights for every person in every aspect of their lives. We hold Governments to account for their human rights obligations, and help to embed human rights principles into the foundations of services, organisations and institutions to create a society where no one is left behind.
Presentation objectives: 
Discussing the potential for better partnerships between businesses and NHRIs in order to implement rights based approaches that create change and drive inclusion of marginalised groups, including the LGBTI community.  


David Isaac

Chair Equality and Human Rights Commission, Chair of Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, The Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions

Tuesday November 27, 2018 4:15pm - 4:30pm CET

5:00pm CET

Snapshot: Roles of the youth in moving forward the UNGPs
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
The session will highlight the important roles of the youth in moving forward, including simplifying and facilitating, the implementation of UNGPs in practice.

Presentation objectives:
The youth representatives will share their innovative initiatives emerging from the competition on youth’s innovation on business and human rights recently held in Thailand.

avatar for Natthawut Chaithong

Natthawut Chaithong

First Runner-up,, Faculty of Business Administration, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok
avatar for Saharat Laksanasut (สหรัฐ ลักษณะสุต)

Saharat Laksanasut (สหรัฐ ลักษณะสุต)

Winner of Thailand Business and Human Rights Youth Innovation Contest, Faculty of Education, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University
Saharat Laksanasut (สหรัฐ ลักษณะสุต), Saharat Laksanasut (สหรัฐ ลักษณะสุต),

Tuesday November 27, 2018 5:00pm - 5:15pm CET

5:15pm CET

Snapshot: Experiences from practice - Effective multi-stakeholder models working against child labour
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
The session will showcase an effective multi-stakeholder model (i.e. the “La Máquina Model”), working against child labour and offer both a government and a rights-holder perspective. The model, which has been developed and run in close collaboration with the Government of Guatemala, the ECLT Foundation, NGO partner DNI Costa Rica, local communities and private sector partners, not only focuses on schools and job skills but also provides child labour training for key local actors, like community leaders, teachers and technicians from companies that work with farmers, for a sustainable way to address child labour gaps in agricultural supply chains and promote decent youth employment.

Presentation objectives:
Ms. Rodriguez will speak briefly on the challenges she faces accessing education in her rural community, the importance of the model for her and her fellow participants.
Ms. Ochoa will give a short overview of the work, successes and challenges of the Ministry of Labour in the Eradication of Child Labour, specifically, the advances made as a country, including the “La Maquina Model” and the importance of building a replicable model in two departments of Guatemala. The replica aims to continue promoting education, ignite economic development and reduce migration in communities living in extreme poverty in Guatemala.

avatar for Marta Lidia Lima

Marta Lidia Lima

former child labourer and participant in youth employment promotion model, Student

Glenda Ochoa

Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labour of Guatemala

Tuesday November 27, 2018 5:15pm - 5:30pm CET

5:45pm CET

Snapshot: The contribution of the indigenous Papuan community to promote respect of the rights of indigenous peoples
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
This session will highlight efforts made by the Papua People's Assembly to assist indigenous Papuans involved in preventing and overcoming the adverse effects of human rights associated with mega projects in Papua Province, Indonesia.
Objectives of the presentation:
This presentation will share experiences from the efforts by the Papuan People's Assembly and the indigenous Papuan community to promote respect of the rights of indigenous peoples, including their right to free, prior and informed consent in the context of business activities in the territories of indigenous peoples in Papua Province, Indonesia.

avatar for Wensislaus Fatubun

Wensislaus Fatubun

fillmaker, human rights defender and human rights advisor, Papuan People's Assembly
Human Right Advisor and Papuan filmmaker

Tuesday November 27, 2018 5:45pm - 6:00pm CET

6:00pm CET

Snapshot: The implications of Indigenous Peoples’ FPIC Protocols and Policies for business respect for human rights
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
Initial experiences of a growing number of indigenous communities in jurisdictions throughout the world suggests that formalizing their own engagement rules and procedures, in the form of consultation and free prior and informed consent (FPIC) protocols, policies, templates or guidelines, can be an effective way for indigenous peoples to ensure that business activities in or near their territories only proceed in a manner that respects their rights. These living documents provide companies, financial institutions and other actors seeking to operate in or near the territories of indigenous peoples with context specific indigenous-rights-based principles, rules and frameworks within which they should operate when seeking indigenous peoples’ consent.

Presentation objectives:
The speakers will address a research project involving European Network on Indigenous Peoples members from Middlesex University London School of Law, Forest Peoples Programme and INFOE that seeks to build on these experiences and contribute to the empowerment of indigenous peoples to assert their right to self-determined development by consolidating, exploring and sharing these evolving approaches and the associated lessons and resources. The Embera Chami in the Resguardo Indigena de Canamomo y Lomoprieta in Colombia are indigenous peoples who have developed consultation and consent protocols regulating natural resource governance in their territories. A former governor of this Resguardo will address their experience and the importance of company and State adherence to their protocols to guarantee business respect for their collective land, cultural and self-governance rights.

avatar for Cathal Doyle

Cathal Doyle

Research Fellow, Middlesex University London School of Law
Research fellow at Middlesex University London School of Law and member of the European Network on Indigenous Issues (ENIP)
avatar for Hector Jaime Vinasco

Hector Jaime Vinasco

exGovernor and Coordinator of Natural Resources and Mining Program, Resguardo Indigena de Canamomo y Lomoprieta, Consejo de Gobierno Indígena

Tuesday November 27, 2018 6:00pm - 6:15pm CET

6:15pm CET

Protecting human rights in Public Policy: What Role for Business?
Organized by BSR and The B Team

Session objectives:
The discussion will consider a number of key questions on the minds of business executives, policymakers and civil society. Key objectives include:
  • Identifying risks and opportunities for business and investors to improve overall protection for human rights while also improving the business environment
  • Sharing examples of business or investor engagement in policy that support human rights, and identifying pressure points from stakeholders
  • Acknowledging the critique of undue corporate influence in public spheres, which may undermine rights or deepen inequality, explore and discuss holistic corporate advocacy approaches that respect and support human rights

Background to the discussion:
Around the world, we have seen instances of policy reversals on human rights protections and programs, which were critical to creating the enabling environment for business to respect human rights.  In addition to these policy reversals, many governments continue to have restrictive or discriminatory laws in place towards particular groups, such as women or migrants.
As part of the “protect, respect and remedy” framework, the UN Guiding Principles created a global baseline expectation on companies to respect human rights, while also guiding business to use its ‘leverage’ in business relationships to help governments protect these rights. Exercising business leverage is more complex when human rights impacts are not caused by a company or ‘directly linked’ to its operations, products, and services. 
When states are not fulfilling their duty to protect human rights, how can or should business use its leverage to support human rights in policy engagement?
This interactive session will give participants an opportunity to engage in important questions on businesses’ role in public policy engagement to support human rights, deepening social exclusion and rampant inequality.
Session Design Principles:
Informative discussion inviting a diversity of perspectives
  1. Participatory and engaging
  2. Provides valuable ideas for potential areas of future collaboration
  3. Provides valuable ideas for potential areas of future collaboration

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Rajiv Joshi

Rajiv Joshi

Managing Director, The B Team
Rajiv Joshi is a social entrepreneur and activist who serves as Managing Director and a founding member of The B Team, based in New York. He is working actively with some of the world’s most influential CEOs to help redefine the role of business in tackling inequality, corruption... Read More →
avatar for Margaret Jungk

Margaret Jungk

Managing Director, Human Rights, BSR

avatar for Jean-Yves Art

Jean-Yves Art

Sr Director, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft
avatar for Shelly Heald Han

Shelly Heald Han

Director of Civil Society Engagement, Fair Labor Association
Shelly is the director of civil society engagement at the Fair Labor Association, a multi-stakeholder initiative that works to improve labor conditions for workers in global supply chains. Based in Washington, DC, she is an experienced business and human rights advocate who has worked... Read More →
avatar for Paloma Munoz Quick

Paloma Munoz Quick

Director, Investor Alliance for Human Rights
Director of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, a collective action platform for responsible investment that is grounded in respect for people’s fundamental rights. In this capacity, Paloma leads strategic development and drives thought leadership work to advance the investor... Read More →

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

6:30pm CET

Snapshot: Human Rights Insights from the Middle East: how accreditation frameworks help keeping business relevant to stakeholders in an increasingly challenging environment for human rights

Brief description of the presentation
In the absence of a progressive legal and regulatory environment, Lebanese and MENA corporates increasingly seek recognition for their BHR commitment by undertaking self-assessments and joining signatory initiatives. Accreditation frameworks developed in consultation with international organizations like the UN, World Bank and international development funds provide corporates with the necessary tool to go beyond local laws and demonstrate their commitment to international best practices. Research reveals how the financial industry is the most sensitive to operational and reputational risk while other industries still needs to work hard to adhere to best principles and standards in an increasingly convergent self-regulatory environment.

Presentation objectives: 
Drawing on research undertaken by Shareholder Rights, the presentation will highlight alternative approaches tackling BHR in developing economies where legal and regulatory frameworks still struggle to keeping up to par with international requirements.

avatar for Yasser Akkaoui

Yasser Akkaoui

Founder, Shareholder Rights
Shareholder-Rights©, an online research and advocacy platform.With its integrity, objectivity and innovation, Shareholder-Rights’© goal is to be the primary destination for investors, shareholders and other stakeholders to have access to the insight which enables them to better... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 6:30pm - 6:45pm CET
Wednesday, November 28

11:40am CET

Community engagement for HRIAs in challenging contexts: a round table discussion
Interpretation is provided in English, French and Spanish.

Organized by NomoGaia, BSR and the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Brief description of the session:
Community engagement in HRIA focuses on 'rightsholders' - the individuals whose human rights are likely to be affected by an operation. Identifying and engaging with rightsholders requires trust building in all contexts. However, trust is harder to obtain and the costs of failure are steeper with particularly vulnerable populations.
This session considers good practice in rightsholder engagement in sensitive contexts, building on the experiences of affected rightsholders to both validate and challenge the practices of even leading companies. A rightsholder, scholar, practitioner and company viewpoint will be probed during the round-table session.

Session objectives:
  • Draw out consensus on what constitutes good practice in rightsholder engagement
  • Delve into the barriers for best practice resulting from community distrust, ongoing state repression, lack of corporate expertise/leverage, social marginalization, etc

Key discussion questions:

What should corporate actors to do differently to ensure their community engagement is meaningful with vulnerable rightsholder groups in challenging contexts?
What can they do if the initial approach is not successful?

Format of the session:
This roundtable discussion will start with brief descriptions of rightsholder engagement processes at HRIAs for companies ENI and Diageo. Then the practitioners supporting those HRIAs will describe challenges and successes in rightsholder engagement, followed by analytical questioning from the researcher/scholar perspective. A roundtable discussion session will follow, before an audience-driven Q&A is integrated.

Background to the discussion
This discussion draws on the unique experiences of  rightholders as well as speakers who have either engaged directly with affected rightsholders in fragile contexts or who have conducted thorough scholarship on meaningful HRDD. It aims to tackle complex questions of how to connect with rightsholders who are reluctant to be critical or express personal opinions, fearing state (or other) retribution. It challenges the assumption that rightsholders are eager to engage with companies or are prepared to discuss the effects of corporate activities on their lives, and it examines ways to overcome such barriers. It considers the possibility that companies might initially struggle to meaningfully engage rightsholders but can create long-term approaches to build trust.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Kendyl Salcito

Kendyl Salcito

Executive Director, NomoGaia

avatar for Tulika Bansal

Tulika Bansal

Asesora Senior de Empresas y DDHH, Danish Institute for Human Rights.
Tulika has 9+ years of experience working as senior adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights advising various multinational companies globally in implementing the UNGPs. Her expertise lies in corporate human rights due diligence and developing & conducting human rights impact... Read More →
avatar for Salah Husseini

Salah Husseini

Manager, BSR
Salah leads BSR’s consulting and collaboration efforts on human rights for companies in New York, including the cross-industry Human Rights Working Group. He supports companies through various human rights projects and has expertise in consumer products, food and agriculture, manufacturing... Read More →
avatar for Jethro Columbo Tulin

Jethro Columbo Tulin

Executive Officer, Porgera Alliance & Porgera Landowners Association
Indigenous land and human rights activist
avatar for Pasquale Vetta

Pasquale Vetta

Head for Human Rights, Transparency and global issues, Eni SpA
Manager in Eni, a global energy operator, in charge for coordinating the company's strategy on Business and Human Rights with extensive experiences ranging from the design of company’s commitment on human rights to its full implementation through a pervasive due diligence system... Read More →

Wednesday November 28, 2018 11:40am - 1:00pm CET

11:40am CET

Labour union perspectives on ways to scale up effective human rights due diligence
Session organized by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Brief description of the session:
The ITUC will hold a panel discussion during the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights on conducting due diligence with respect to freedom of association, and engaging with trade unions in conducting due diligence, including with regard to remedy.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) make it clear that the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, at a minimum, covers the rights set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. These instruments include the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, meaning that companies have a responsibility to conduct due diligence to “know and show” that they respect these rights.
In addition, to conducting due diligence on the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, companies should engage with trade unions as stakeholders throughout the entire due diligence process. The newly adopted OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct provides practical examples of such engagement, including company-trade union agreements. The OECD guidance also recognises that industrial relations is a form of stakeholder engagement. Moreover, following its most recent update in 2017, the ILO MNE Declaration now highlights the central role of freedom of association and collective bargaining in the due diligence process.
Despite positive developments in the governance framework, in practice the right to freedom of association continues to be misunderstood, and even opposed. Indeed, far from being considered part of due diligence, industrial relations are generally considered as separate, with good practices with respect to due diligence on freedom of association on the one hand, and engagement with trade unions on the other, being rare in the business and human rights discourse.

Session objectives:
Such a panel discussion would therefore be critical in allowing the ITUC to:
  • Raise awareness of the types of actions by companies that may lead to adverse impacts on the right to freedom of association;
  • Identify practical steps that companies can take to conduct due diligence on freedom of association;
  • Discuss effective approaches to meaningful engagement with trade unions, and identify their enabling factors.

Key discussion questions:
  • What practical actions does the new OECD Due Diligence Guidance recommend with regard to conducting due diligence on freedom of association and engaging trade unions in conducting due diligence?
  •  What are the most prevalent abuses of the right to freedom of association in the Korean metal sector?
  •  What are the practical steps that a company should take to conduct effective due diligence on respect for the right of freedom of association?
  •  What does successful company-trade union collaboration look like in practice?

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Makbule Sahan

Makbule Sahan

Legal Director, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Makbule is leading the ITUC’s work on international labour standards and human rights mechanisms, litigation in regional and national courts, business and human rights, labour law and the ITUC Global Rights Index.


Kirstine Drew

Senior Policy Advisor, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC)
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
avatar for Peter Rossman

Peter Rossman

Director, Campaigns and Communication, International Union of Food Workers (IUF)

Sunho Tak

Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU)

Wednesday November 28, 2018 11:40am - 1:00pm CET