Joint Project on Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean
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The project “Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean”, implemented together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), aims to promote responsible business conduct practices in line with international standards. The project is funded by the European Union.
The expectation that goods and services be produced and supplied in a responsible manner - in compliance with international standards that guarantee the respect for human rights, decent work and environmental protection - has significantly grown. At the same time, since the unanimous endorsement of the
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council in 2011, international standards on responsible business conduct (RBC) have evolved to greater convergence, including on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Governments, business and civil society in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are also showing an increased interest in promoting responsible business conduct.
OHCHR activities will focus on promoting and supporting the effective implementation of the
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Scope and activities
The activities of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will include a mix of regional and country-specific activities. Country-specific activities are planned in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
Activities will be implemented by OHCHR regional offices for
South America (in Chile) and for
Central America (in Panama), as well as OHCHR county offices in
Mexico, with support from OHCHR Geneva. Activities will also involve the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights and support its mandate to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Activities are designed and implemented in collaboration with stakeholders, building on existing processes and opportunities around the three components of the Project.
A. Regarding component I - supporting the development and/or implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights, the activities are aimed at:
1. Promote inclusive multi-stakeholder processes for the development, implementation and evaluation of NAPs.
2. Promote the alignment of policies/norms related to business and human rights with international standards.
3. Support the strengthening of access to effective remedy
B. Regarding component II - supporting human rights due diligence, activities are aimed at:
1. Facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue/learning among business, civil society, affected communities (indigenous and non-indigenous) and business associations, among other actors
2. Develop human rights due diligence materials/tools
3. Enhance collaboration with local experts institutions on HRD (ToT).
C. Regarding Component III – Support regional platform o RBC practices, the regional multi-stakeholder consultation is aimed at:
1. Promote peer learning and sharing of experience among relevant actors
2. Tack stock and incentivize progress among countries and business of the region
3. Promote the participation and collaboration among key actors
Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean has become a key gathering on business and human rights, and one of the most important human rights meetings in the Americas. The Forum provides a unique space for dialogue between governments, business, civil society, affected groups, workers organizations and international organizations on trends, challenges and good practices in preventing and addressing business-related human rights impacts. This event allows to take stock of the implementation by States and business enterprises in the region, of the
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and international standards, such as
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the
ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), and incentivizes initiatives for their further implementation.
The Fifth Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean – “Realising responsible business conduct in difficult times: Turning challenges into opportunities” will be held virtually on 7-11 September 2020.
Two plenary sessions will be held at the beginning and at the end of the Forum’s week, on 8 and 11 September 2020, with a High-Level Open Plenary on 8 September. Capacity-building workshops and stakeholder preparatory meetings will take place on 7 September, while 9 and 10 September will be dedicated to parallel sessions.
This year’s Forum will include for the first time “snapshots sessions” where selected participants will be able to share their projects or initiatives with the wider forum’s audience through video presentations or life. Snapshots can include a variety of contributions, including new research, practical tools and guiding materials, and other initiatives relating to the business and human rights agenda. A selected number of contributors will be invited to present at the plenary sessions. More information on how to participate.
The Fourth Regional Consultation on Business and Human Rights – “Looking ahead: Actions to Foster Responsible Business Conduct” took place on 3-4 September 2019 in Santiago de Chile. The event was organized by the
Office for South America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and
the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, with the support of the ILO and the OECD within the framework of a project financed by the European Union on
"Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean".