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Stakeholder engagement [clear filter]
Monday, November 26
 

9:00am

Voices from the ground
http://webtv.un.org/search/panel-on-voices-from-the-ground-forum-on-business-and-human-rights-2018/5971600547001/?term=&lan=english&cat=Forum%20on%20Business%20and%20Human%20Rights&sort=date&page=2

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

Secretary General, Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos (FIDH)
Debbie Stothard has worked since 1981 in media, academia, community education & human rights in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand. Her work in training grassroots communities and advocacy is focused on women's leadership, atrocity prevention, and business and human rights.

Speakers
SK

Saeeda Kathoum

spokes-person, Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association
O

Olman

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
Room XX
 
Tuesday, November 27
 

11:30am

Safeguarding human rights defenders: new efforts and tackling growing threats
http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/forum-on-business-and-human-rights/watch/panel-on-safeguarding-human-rights-defenders-forum-on-business-and-human-rights-2018/5972123912001/?term=

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.

References

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Michael Ineichen

Michael Ineichen

Programme Director, International Service for Human Rights
Michael joined ISHR in 2006 and has contributed to many of ISHR's core activities and programs and currently coordinates the work on business and human rights defenders. He oversees advocacy at the Human Rights Council, and has contributed to many key resolutions, most recently on... Read More →
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 →

Speakers
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

Human Rights Manager, Sustainability & Diversity Department, FIFA
Andreas Graf is Human Rights Manager 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

New Initiatives and Partnership Development Programme Officer, 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
Room XX

3:15pm

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.

Speakers
AL

Adolfo López

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


Tuesday November 27, 2018 3:15pm - 3:30pm
Room XXIV

4:00pm

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

Speakers
avatar for Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Co-Founder, Rights CoLab


Tuesday November 27, 2018 4:00pm - 4:15pm
Room XXIV

5:45pm

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.


Speakers
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
Room XXIV