2016 Asia Regional Forum
09 - 20 April 2016
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights convened its first UN Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights from 19 to 20 April 2016 in Doha.
Enquiries: [email protected]
Report: Summary report (A/HRC/32/45/Add.2)
Speakers: List of speakers
Statements and submissions / information received:
About the Forum
Building on the 2014 Africa Forum and 2013 Latin America & Caribbean Forum, the Asia Forum provided an opportunity to speed and scale up awareness and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the region. The two-day event allowed participants to discuss salient issues and identify areas at the national level where accelerated action is needed by States and companies to prevent and address business-related human rights harm.
Given the diversity of issues across the Asia-Pacific region - which spans from Saudi Arabia in West Asia, to Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and China in East Asia - some sessions had a sub-regional, rights-based and/or sectoral focus in order to examine problems and identify solutions in a concrete manner.
The Forum convened representatives of Governments, business, industry associations, civil society organisations, trade unions, indigenous peoples, affected individuals, law firms, investor groups, international and regional bodies, national human rights institutions, academia and the media.
The programme, managed by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and its Secretariat, focused on the three pillars of the Guiding Principles:
- The State duty to protect human rights against business-related impacts;
- The corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and
- The need for effective remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse.
The Regional Forum examined salient issues in the region, such as:
- The rights of migrant workers;
- Impacts of large-scale land acquisitions;
- Garment sector supply chains;
- Forced and child labour and human trafficking;
- Access to remedy through judicial and non-judicial mechanisms;
- Mega sporting events;
- Human rights defenders;
- Rights of women in a business context; and
- Indigenous peoples� rights.
The Forum discussed the national and regional application of global business and human rights issues, such as national action plans, corporate human rights due diligence, and the role of the State as an economic actor.
Session concept notes
- Training session: How human rights reporting can help companies manage risks
- Training session: IFI grievance mechanisms as avenues for community engagement & access to remedy
- Protecting and respecting human rights in the garment sector
- Protecting and respecting human rights in the context of land investments
- Human rights due diligence: multi-stakeholder & sector-wide approaches
- Side event: Paving the way towards an international legally-binding instrument on business and human rights
- Side event: Righting the wrong: seeking criminal accountability for corporate human rights abuses in Asia
- Sub-regional trends and challenges: North East and Central Asia
- Sub-regional trends and challenges: South Asia
- Sub-regional trends and challenges: South East Asia
- Addressing Asia's NAP gap
- Human rights and the ICT sector
- The State duty to protect in the marketplace
- A spotlight on Indigenous Peoples in Asia in the context of business activities
- The Accountability and Remedy Project: Practical challenges in cross-border cases - regional perspectives
- Side event: Corporate Japan rises to the challenge
Statements and submissions / information received
- Opening remarks by Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
- Keynote address by John Ruggie, Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on business and human rights; Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs, MossavarRahmani Center for Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government
- Voices from Asia
- Asia & Africa National Action Plans Update to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights - Asian Business and Rule of Law initiative at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (CALS)
- Development for all, or a privileged few? Business & human rights in Southeast Asia - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
- The situation of human rights defenders promoting corporate accountability in East Asia - International Service for Human Rights and Forum-Asia
- Background paper on business and human rights to the 14th ASEM Seminar on Human Rights
- Background Paper for India's National Framework on Business and Huma Rights, by Prof. Surya Deva
- Shift training: How Human Rights Reporting Can Help Companies Manage Risks