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Tuesday, November 26 • 15:00 - 16:20
National Human Rights Institutions and Access to Remedy: Lessons and the Way Forward

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Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Interpretation in English and Spanish provided by DOCIP.

Webcast of the session:
Meeting link
Meeting number: 840 079 851
Password: rBEJX7Zh

Background 
Access to effective remedy is a core component of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). While judicial mechanisms are “at the core of ensuring access to remedy”, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), as a key State-based non-judicial grievance mechanism, have “an essential role in complementing and supplementing judicial mechanisms”. This is in line also with the aspirations expressed in the Edinburgh Declaration, which emphasised the role that NHRIs can play in facilitating access to remedy both directly (e.g., by handling complaints concerning business-related human rights abuses) and indirectly (e.g., by raising awareness, conducting public inquiries, building capacity, assisting affected rights holders, and recommending legal reforms). In addition, NHRIs can act as important bridge between rightsholders and the State, including through supporting human rights defenders and by building partnerships to promote access to remedy.

The Human Rights Council has recognized “the important role of national human rights institutions in supporting activities to improve accountability and access to remedy” (A/HRC/38/L.13). It requested  the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights “to analyse further the role of national human rights institutions in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses, and to convene a two-day global consultation on these issues, open to all stakeholders, and to inform the Council by its forty-fourth session” (A/HRC/38/L.18).

This session builds on the global consultation on the role of NHRIs in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses that the Working Group organised in October 2019. The session seeks to showcase various ways in which NHRIs have been trying to facilitate access to remedy and the tools they have employed to overcome numerous challenges faced in this process. It will also consider the reforms required to strengthen the role of NHRIs in facilitating access to effective remedy for business-related human rights abuses.

Objectives
This session seeks to:
  • showcase selected case studies of how NHRIs are able to facilitate access to remedy in diverse ways (both directly and indirectly) for business-related human rights abuses;
  • highlight the challenges and limitations that NHRIs often face in facilitating access to remedy and discuss effective strategies for overcoming such challenges and limitations; and
  • share good practices developed and innovative measures taken by NHRIs in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses.

Format
After brief remarks by the moderator, selected NHRIs will be invited to share their experiences (e.g., challenges faced, limitations experienced, and innovative measures taken) of facilitating access to remedy in business-related human rights abuses. This will be followed by an open discussion with participants from the floor.

Moderators
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Surya Deva is a WG Member and Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong.  He holds BA (Hons), LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from Sydney Law School, and has taught previously at the University of Delhi and at the National Law... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Zara Porter

Zara Porter

Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
Zara Porter is Communications and Public Affairs Officer at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Zara has worked for the Commission since 2015, and leads its work on business and human rights. She coordinates the work of the Northern Ireland Business and Human Rights Forum... Read More →
avatar for Lavinia Figueroa Perdomo

Lavinia Figueroa Perdomo

Secretaria General, Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos, Guatemala
Claudia Lavinia Figueroa Perdomo, General Secretary of the Human Rights Office of Guatemala. Lawyer and Notary for 24 years. She was General Registrar of Property. Master in Constitutional, Commercial and Notarial Law. Candidate Doctor in Social Sciences from the Pontifical University... Read More →
avatar for Sylvia Ntambi

Sylvia Ntambi

Chairperson, Equal Opportunity Commission, Uganda
Sylvia Ntambi is the Chairperson of the EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION (EOC) UGANDA. Sylvia is a Lawyer, a gender human rights activist, former Lecturer at the School of Law and former a technical Advisor to the German Development Coorporation and Coordinatoor of the African Peer... Read More →
avatar for Nicola Jägers

Nicola Jägers

Commissioner, Netherlands Human Rights Institute
* Nicola Jägers holds the Chair International Human Rights Law at the Law School of Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Nicola is also a Commissioner at the National Human Rights Institute, the official NHRI of the Netherlands. Over the past ten years Nicola has worked on the... Read More →
avatar for Munafrizal Manan

Munafrizal Manan

Mediation Commissioner, Indonesia National Commission on Human Rights
Munafrizal Manan is currently Mediation Commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia. Prior to that, he has been Lecturer, Researcher, licensed Lawyer, and certified Mediator. He has published five books and various articles both in journals and mass media... Read More →


Tuesday November 26, 2019 15:00 - 16:20 CET
Room XXV