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“Advancing business and human rights globally: alignment, adherence and accountability”
About the Forum
The United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights is a space for representatives and practitioners from civil society, business, government, international organizations and affected stakeholders to take stock of challenges and discuss ways to move forward in carrying out the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council, and is guided by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The third annual Forum attracted around 2,000persons from over 100 countries.
Building on the previous two fora of 2012 and 2013, the third annual Forum focused on:
- Strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement
- Discussing national action plans to implement the Guiding Principles
- Exploring access to effective remedy
- Identifying current and good practice
- The Forum was chaired by Mo Ibrahim (Sudan and UK).
The relationship between business and human rights has become an issue that States and businesses worldwide cannot ignore. On one hand, businesses can help advance human rights, including by offering access to decent work and higher living standards. On the other, businesses can also hinder human rights, as underlined by recurring reports from around the world of unsafe working conditions, migrant worker exploitation, and damage to community environments.
Meanwhile, there is growing worldwide recognition of the human rights aspects of sustainable development and the role business can and should play in addressing global challenges such as climate change, poverty and inequality.
Accordingly, the Human Rights Council in 2011 unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and more and more States and businesses are taking real steps to put into practice its three pillars: the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the right of victims to access an effective remedy. Important implementation challenges, however, remain.
The United Nations Human Rights Council, under paragraph 12 of its resolution 17/4, established the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, under the guidance of the Working Group on human rights and business, to serve as a key global platform for stakeholders to ”discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights.”