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 • 13:30 - 14:45
States and business enterprises listening to the UN Working Group? A cross-country assessment by civil society organizations

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Session organized by Conectas Direitos Humanos (Brasil)

Interpretation provided in English and Spanish by DOCIP

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

Session description

The session will discuss methodologies adopted by civil society organizations to keep track of government and businesses implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). The objective is to analyze and assess the impact on States and businesses’ policies and practices derived from: (i) recommendations made by the UN Working Group of Business and Human Rights (UNWGBHR) after country visits; and (ii) discussion and implementation of State national action plans.

Sessions objectives
  1. to highlight how civil society organizations assess the implementation of the UNGP by governments and companies;
  2. to stress the need of mandatory due diligence legislation to prevent business-related human rights abuses;
  3. and to propose recommendations for governments and companies.

Format of the session

The session will start with brief introduction by the moderator, followed by interventions by the panelists to summarise the key issues they are working on regarding the assessment of the UNGP implementation by States and businesses. The moderator will open the floor for plenary discussion based on guiding questions, regarding the methodologies adopted by civil society organizations and challenges faced by States and businesses. Finally, the session will be concluded by a last round of panelist interventions.

Background to the discussions

Country visits have factilitated a fruitful multistakeholder dialogue among the UNWGBHR, States, business enterprises and civil society, contributing to raising awareness of good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the UNGP as well as on the ground accounts by those whose human rights are affected by corporate activities. The end of mission reports and the recommendations presented constitute a relevant work plan for stakeholders interested in the agenda of business and human rights, drawing public policy guidelines and highlighting threats and concerns on corporate-based human rights violations. Since 2012, the UNWGBHR has already carried out 12 country visits in four different continents.

The UNWGBHR is promoting national action plans on business and human rights (NAPs) as a key tool to support State implementation of the UNGPs. . During the 3rd Annual UN Forum in 2014 the WG launched its Guidance on NAPs. Recommendations for State NAPs on business and human rights were also presented in the UNWGBHR 2014 report to the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. There have been regular discussions at the UN Forum about state of play and the way forward for NAPs. The UNWGBHR has had a significant positive impact through its promotion of NAPs, and the dissemination of UNGP that the process of producing a NAP involves. Today, twenty-two countries published NAPs and thirty-one States are in the process of developing a NAP, have committed to doing one or have either the NHRI or civil society giving steps in the development of a NAP.

The panelists are representatives of civil society organizations from three countries visited by the Working Group in the last five years: Brazil (December 2015), Mexico (September 2016) and Peru (July 2017).

The situations to be mentioned in the session include:
  • Follow-up reports of recommendations from the UNWG to government and businesses after the 2015 country visit to Brazil
  • Mandatory due diligence legislation to tackle the lack of transparency in supply chain of transnational companies: the case of contemporary slave labour in coffee farms in Southern Brazil
  • National baseline assessment for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Mexico
  • Drafting a NAP on business and human rights in Peru and social participation: the case of indigenous peoples

avatar for Jefferson Nascimento

Jefferson Nascimento

Program Officer, Conectas Direitos Humanos
Dr. Nascimento is an officer at Development and Socioenvironmental Rights program at Conectas Direitos Humanos, Brazil. He holds a PhD in International Law from the University of São Paulo. Dr. Nascimento is an international human rights lawyer and a researcher with expertise in... Read More →

avatar for Ivette Gonzalez

Ivette Gonzalez

Strategic Engagement Senior Associate, PODER (México)
Ivette Gonzalez is an Strategic Engagement Senior Associate at the Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER). She co-coordinates the Civil Society Focal Group on Business and Human Rights in Mexico. Currently, Ms. González coordinates at PODER a project on... Read More →
avatar for Claudia Zúñiga Carrillo

Claudia Zúñiga Carrillo

Rights and Amazonia Program Specialist, Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR)
Ingeniera forestal especialista en Manejo Forestal con conocimiento en prácticas de integración de empresas con comunidades indígenas en el marco de los estándares de certificación forestal y el Convenio 169 de la OIT. Actualmente, es especialista del programa Derechos y Amazonia... Read More →
avatar for Jorge Ferreira dos Santos Filho

Jorge Ferreira dos Santos Filho

Political Coordinator, ADERE – Articulação dos Empregados Rurais do Estado de Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Mr. Santos Filho is a Brazilian rural worker and political articulator of ADERE, an association of rural workers of Minas Gerais, the Brazilian state that leads coffee production in the country – Brazil is the world’s main producer of coffee. He works to combat the precariousness... Read More →

Wednesday November 27, 2019 13:30 - 14:45 CET
Room XXI