Amidst the excitement of the inception of Rio+20, CEDHA has already held three side events on business and human rights at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the People’s Summit, organised by civil society.

  1. CEDHA Human Rights, Business and Sustainable Development programme´s first side event, held on Friday 15 June at the People’s Summit in Aterro do Flamengo, was entitled “UN Business and Human Rights: Compliance Assessment Tool.” It had been organised by CEDHA and the Dutch organisation SOMO. The speakers included Víctor Ricco (CEDHA), and Marriette van Huijstee (SOMO). The event witnessed that on the first day of the People’s Summit the organisation of logistics was still in progress. Nevertheless, the event attracted a number of participants interested in the UN Guiding Principle for the Policy Framework of Protect, Respect and Remedy. People at the event have shown interest in the possibility of learning about standards for corporations with regards to human rights respect.

 

  1. On Saturday 16 June, in Rio Centro at the UNCSD, CEDHA and SOMO co-organised the event “Promoting Responsible Conduct: The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Cooperations.” The event featured the following speakers: Richard Howitt MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility, Marcos Machado Guimarães, Coordenador-Geral de Diálogo Econômico Internacional (National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines in Brazil), Paul de Clerk (Friends of the Earth Europe), and Víctor Ricco (CEDHA). The speakers deliberated, inter alia, on the question of implementation of the OECD Guidelines, the updated Guidelines, and experience from cases with the National Contact Points.

Participants expressed concern about the lack of a binding nature of the OECD GL and asked how could it be strengthened. There was also a comment remarking on the different existing Guidelines, Principles and Standards, forcing the company wishing to meet them to invest resources for that having then the customers to support the burden with more expensive products and services.

Victor Ricco said that the effectiveness of the OECD GL will depend on the proactive work of all stakeholders, particularly NCPs while handling Specific Instances.

  1. On June 18th, a selected group of participants attended to the workshop on the “ UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: How to check company respect for human rights” at the Windsor Florida Hotel in Flamengo area. The workshop had the purpose to explore all implications of the implementation of the UN GPs in company case research. In this regard, SOMO. CIVIDEP and CEDHA have developed a guide for civil society organizations (which still stands as an advanced draft) on how to use the UN GPs in assessing corporate conduct. During the workshop the pannelists informed on the UN GP process as well as explained the structure of the Guide for Civil Society Organizations. After that, an excercise of a real case was developed helping understand in practice the different outcomes of the GPs implementation.

At the end of the workshop, all participants shared their questions, remarks, comments and expressed their wish to implement the Guide once is ready.

Worshop on the UN Guiding Principles for Business and

Human Rights: How to check company respect for human rights

For further information contact:

Victor Ricco vricco@cedha.org.ar


 

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