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For further information on the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Forum/Pages/2019ForumBHR.aspx

For further information on the work of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx 
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Wednesday, November 27 • 09:00 - 10:15
Multi-stakeholder initiatives promoted by States to drive business respect for human rights - effectiveness and lessons learned

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Session organized by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)

Interpretation provided in English, French and Spanish by DOCIP.

Webcast of the session:
Meeting link
Meeting number: 841 119 422
Password: Fy2ggiUD

Description of the session

On the basis of the UNGPs and the OECD-Guidelines, governments expect companies to transact business with respect for human rights and the environment. Not just on their own territory, but also abroad. As part of the State’s duty to protect, governments have acted as catalysts for driving business respect for human rights by taking measures, including those that promote and facilitate multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs). MSIs, in the context of this session, encompasses (formal and informal) collaboration between the government and social partners to define and monitor how the responsibility to respect and protect human rights, as well as to remedy potential adverse impacts, can be met in practice. In a number of countries, non governmental organisations (NGOs) also partake in MSIs. MSI initiatives may take the form of, for example, sector dialogues leading to binding agreements or human rights monitoring commissions in reach the various stakeholders are formally represented and engaged. MSIs are often voluntary in nature, but result in obligations that are monitored. They can be structural collaboration or have a more ad hoc character depending on the specific context and policy of the State, if any.

This Forum session will focus on the innovative multi-stakeholder approaches promoted and/or facilitated by States to drive business respect for human rights in a variety of sectors. Experiences will be exchanged (incl. lessons learned) and options for scaling up will be discussed.


Objectives of the session

The objectives of the session are twofold:
  • To provide a platform for States to share and exchange  experiences (incl. lessons learned) about promoting and/or facilitating multi-stakeholder initiatives to drive business respect for human rights, and to clarify which elements of a multi-stakeholder approach would work given the specific context of a State.
  • To examine options for scaling up multi-stakeholder initiatives and, regarding how such initiatives can strengthen each other and complement other existing measures that drive business respect for human rights.


Key discussion questions
  • Sharing experiences 
    How have different States promoted and facilitated MSIs to drive business respect for human rights? Which challenges related to responsible business conduct can be resolved through MSIs? What are the lessons learned from these initiatives? And how can a multi-stakeholder approach be effective given the specific context of a State: what works?
  • Increase impact
    What are the options for scaling up the impact of MSIs? How can such initiatives strengthen each other and complement other existing measures that promote responsible business conduct (for example. legislation on due diligence)?


Background to the discussion

In more and more countries we see governments drive business respect for human rights by promoting and facilitating MSIs. In the Netherlands, the government has been developing International Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) Agreements with businesses, unions and civil society in sectors with a high risk of human, labour and environmental right violations. Several multi-stakeholder international RBC Agreements have been concluded in a wide range of sectors: in the garments and textile industry (2016), banking sector (2016), pension funds sector (2018), insurance sector (2018), gold sector (2017), food products industry (2018), Forestry sector (2017), the metal sector (2019), Floricultural sector (2019), Natural stone sector (2019). Multi-stakeholder agreements are also been discussed. for example, in Germany whilst other countries like Ghana utilise MSIs to enforce business respect for human rights. At the same time, other measures, for example legislation that embeds elements of risk-based due diligence, have also been adopted or is being considered by States to drive business respect for human rights, for example in France.

Moderators
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Speakers
DM

David Maenaut

Delegate-General, Mission of Belgium, Delegation of Flanders
AK

Anna-Lena Klassen

Senior Policy Officer, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany
avatar for Maylis Souque

Maylis Souque

Secretaria General del Punto Nacional de Contacto de la OCDE, Direccion General del Tesoro del Gobierno Frances
Maylis SOUQUE is the Secretary General of the French OECD NCP for Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) and Senior Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the Directorate General of the Treasury of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance. She organizes the work of... Read More →
avatar for Alexandra van Selm

Alexandra van Selm

Program Director, International Responsible Business Agreements, Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands
First Name, Family Name : Alexandra van SelmTitle, Organisation: Program Director, International Responsible Business Conduct, Social and Economic Council, the NetherlandsBio: Alexandra van Selm is Program Director for International Responsible Business Conduct at the Social and Economic... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Sakyi Asiedu

Daniel Sakyi Asiedu

Tripartite Coordinator National Tripartite Committee Secretariat Ministry of Employment & Labour Relations of Ghana, Ministry of Employment & Labour Relations, Ghana
Daniel Sakyi Asiedu currently serves as the Acting Head of the National Tripartite Committee Secretariat. The Secretariat coordinate the activities of the National Tripartite Committee for the determination of the National Daily Minimum Wage; advise on employment and labour market... Read More →


Wednesday November 27, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 CET
Room XXI