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Peru: First official visit by UN expert group on business and human rights

GENEVA (6 July 2017) – The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights will undertake its first official visit to Peru from 10 to 19 July to assess efforts to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business operations.

“Peru has a wealth of natural resources in agriculture, fisheries, oil, gas and mining. Indeed, Peru is among the 10 most mineral-rich countries in the world, with many of the world’s large mining multinationals operating in the country,” noted Michael K. Addo, one of the expert group’s members.

“We look forward to learning about steps taken by the Government and by companies themselves to prevent and address human rights violations resulting from business activities, as well as about intentions to elaborate a National Action Plan on business and human rights,” Mr. Addo added.

The UN experts will be assessing how the Peruvian Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles provide an authoritative framework to prevent and address adverse human rights risks and impacts of business activities, and to ensure that victims have access to effective remedies.

“We warmly welcome the invitation from the Government to conduct this visit, which we hope will help further promote corporate respect for human rights,” said Dante Pesce, the other member of the Working Group’s delegation.

“In addition to engaging with the Government, including ministries in the areas of economy, finance, and energy, we will meet a range of civil society actors, human rights defenders and trade unionists, as well as representatives of business associations and companies, including State-owned, national and multinational companies,” he noted.

“We will pay special attention to the situation of indigenous peoples and social conflicts in the context of natural resource extraction, as well as factors that may make some groups more vulnerable to human rights abuses,” added Mr. Pesce.

During their visit to Peru, the experts will hold meetings in Lima and in the regions of Loreto, Cajamarca, Cusco and Apurímac.

At the end of their mission on Wednesday 19 July at 12:00, the experts will hold a press conference to present preliminary observations from their visit. It will be held at the UN Information Centre, Complejo Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Av. Pérez Araníbar 750, Magdalena, Lima. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group will present a full report of its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in June 2018.

The Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. Its current members are: Mr. Michael Addo, Mr. Surya Deva (current Chairperson), Mr. Dante Pesce, Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga, and Ms. Anita Ramasastry (current vice-chair). 

The Working Group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent human rights monitoring mechanisms. The Working Group reports to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. The experts are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page – Peru

For additional information and media requests, please contact Ulrik Halsteen or Alexia Ghyoot: +41 22 917 9323 (in Geneva) / + 41 79 444 4187 (cellphone number during the dates of the visit) / wg-business@ohchr.org.

For media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 19 July please contact: Christian Sanchez: +511 625 9140 / christian.sanchez@unic.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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