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United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights


Call for a change © UN Photo, Jean Marc Ferré
United Nations Forum on Business and
Human Rights

© UN photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

The UN Human Rights Council, under paragraph 12 of its resolution 17/4, decided to establish a Forum on Business and Human Rights under the guidance of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to:

“discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles [on Business and Human Rights] and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights, including challenges faced in particular sectors, operational environments or in relation to specific rights or groups, as well as identifying good practices.”

As per Human Rights Council resolution 17/4, the Forum is open to all relevant stakeholder groups, including States, the wider United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organisations, businesses, labour unions, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, and affected stakeholders, among others.

The first Forum was held in Geneva on 3-5 December 2012 and attracted around 1,000 participants from more than 80 countries. This first Forum focused on taking stock of implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights to date, highlighting challenges to implementation for States, business, and civil society, and identifying and discussing good practices. The Forum included more than 20 official sessions. Videos and materials from the first Forum can be found here.

The second Forum will be held in Geneva on 2-4 December 2013. The Forum agenda and information on registering will be posted on this website from late August 2013.

Click here to read the full Human Rights Council resolution 17/4

Preparation of the second annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights: Call for input from stakeholders

Introduction

The Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, which guides the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, invites all relevant stakeholders to provide their suggestions on topics, panels and modalities for the second annual Forum to be held in Geneva on 3-4 December 2013.

The first annual Forum, which took place in December 2012, was the largest global business and human rights gathering to date, with more than 1,000 registered participants from over 80 countries. The Working Group aims to repeat the success of the first Forum by engaging with relevant stakeholders. It intends to develop the 2013 Forum programme based on lessons learned and feedback already received from participants of the 2012 Forum and input submitted through the present call for input. While conscious that different stakeholders may have diverging expectations, the Working Group is committed to listening to all views and suggestions presented to it in the process of preparing the second annual Forum.

Mandate

The UN Human Rights Council, under paragraph 12 of its resolution 17/4, decided to establish the Forum on Business and Human Rights under the guidance of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to:

“discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles [on Business and Human Rights] and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights, including challenges faced in particular sectors, operational environments or in relation to specific rights or groups, as well as identifying good practices.”

In pursuit of its mandate the Working Group is also seeking to hold regional forums or consultations on business and human rights that will feed into the global-level United Nations Forum in Geneva.

Call for input

The Working Group would like to invite States, business, civil society and other stakeholders to submit suggestions for the 2013 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights. The Working Group welcomes in particular suggestions on:

  • Specific topics/panels for the Forum,  including names of potential speakers
  • Specific industry sectors to inquire on how the intersection between pillars one, two and three of the Guiding Principles (the State Duty to Protect, the Corporate Responsibility to Respect and Access to Remedy) play out in such sectors across the globe
  • Regional dynamics in the implementation of the Guiding Principles, including the interaction between regional bodies and individual States and companies
  • Examples of Guiding Principles implementation practice by States, business enterprises or other stakeholders on all or certain aspects of the Guiding Principles, for example, the issue of transparency measures such reporting requirements
  • Specific examples of strategic incentives that can shape State and business uptake of the Guiding Principles
  • Modalities that may be conducive to engaging key stakeholders and promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue
  • How to enhance the geographical balance and participation by key stakeholders from all regions, including business enterprises and affected individuals and communities.

Submissions may be sent to forumbhr@ohchr.org by 12 April 2013. Please note that submissions may be posted online on the Forum website, unless you request otherwise.


Side sessions may also be organized on 2 December.