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Spotlight on mega sporting events

UN Asia Regional Forum on Business & Human Rights / 19-20 April 2016 - Qatar

GENEVA (14 April 2016) – The human rights issues associated with mega sporting events will be one of the topics discussed at the United Nations Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, from 19 to 20 April in Doha.

Professor John Ruggie, the author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, will talk about his report, commissioned by FIFA, in which he makes recommendations on how FIFA can integrate human rights into its policies and practices.

“The scale of FIFA’s global activities and relationships means that acting on its commitments to respect human rights has the potential to be a landmark for advancing human dignity through sports around the world,” said John Ruggie, who is a Professor at Harvard University.

He will be joined at the Forum by representatives of FIFA and the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy during a panel discussion that takes place in the morning on Wednesday 20 April.

Leading global brands, including traditional sponsors of mega sporting events, governments, companies, NGOs, workers and community representatives will be among the 300 participants at the Forum that will examine ways better to prevent and address human rights harm linked to the operations of business enterprises.

“Asian economies have experienced impressive growth in recent decades. At the same time there is increasing attention to the risks of adverse impact on human rights. Apart from looking at mega sporting events, the Forum will also discuss initiatives, opportunities and challenges to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights across all sectors,” said Dante Pesce, the chair of the UN Working Group, which is convening the event with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Other issues on the programme include: human rights in supply chains; the protection of migrant workers; efforts to prevent forced labour; large-scale land investments; the protection of indigenous peoples; the right to privacy on the internet; ways to ensure access to effective remedy when harms occur; and the development of national action plans on business and human rights.

The Forum will center on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were endorsed by UN Member States in 2011 as the authoritative global standard to prevent and manage the risk of business-related human rights harm. (The Guiding Principles: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/Tools.aspx)

The event follows similar UN Regional Forums in Africa in 2014 and Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013. It will feed into the 2016 global UN Forum on Business and Human Rights to be held from 14 to 16 November in Geneva.

The Asia Regional Forum is open to the media. For queries about press accreditation, see contact details below.

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. Dante Pesce (current Chairperson), and Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga (current vice chair). Mr. Surya Deva was recently appointed as a new member and will officially take up his functions on 1 May 2016. The appointment of the fifth member of the Working Group will the made by the Human Rights Council in June 2016. Learn more, log on to: www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx

The UN Working Groups are 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 fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. The mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They 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. The Working Group reports to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly.

Learn more about the Asian Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights: www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/2016AsiaRegionalForum.aspx 

Learn more about the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, to be held in Geneva from 14 to 16 November 2016: www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Forum/Pages/2016ForumBHR.aspx

For additional information and queries about press accreditation, please contact the Working Group Secretariat at: regionalforumbhr@ohchr.org / +41 22 91 79 657 or +41 22 91 79 323.

To request interviews with speakers, please contact: Peter Hall at phall@ohchr.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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