Business and Human Rights: Respect, Protect and Remedy

This seminar will look at the importance of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It will address the requirements for effective implementation, and what needs to be prioritized in the future.

John Ruggie

John Ruggie, Chairperson of the Forum during the United Nations Forum Business and Human Rights. 4 December 2012. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré

10 year Anniversary of the UNGPs

No other area of human rights has grown so quickly as the business and human rights field. This year marked 10 years since the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. The 10-year anniversary and the passing of the author of the UNGPs, John G. Ruggie, provides us an opportunity to reflect on what the UNGPs have achieved in the past decade and to take stock of how business and human rights affairs stand today.

Registration and information on the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights website

Panel discussion

This seminar will feature a panel discussion with several experts in the field:

Coffee and light lunch will be provided to all attendants.

Clarifying businesses' human rights responsibilities

John G. Ruggie created a common language for all stakeholders; clarifying the duties and responsibilities of states and businesses to respect human rights. Famously, he created the three pillars to protect, respect and remedy. 

The UNGPs have brought the question of businesses' responsibility towards human rights to the forefront of discussions on corporate social responsibility. They also provide a common framework and language to discuss the human rights dilemmas that can arise from business activity.

Future implementation

However, contentious business activity still poses a threat to human rights. Corporations have been able to utilize this framework to whitewash their reputations by publicly endorsing the UNGPs and other international frameworks and guidelines. Will the next decade of business and human rights continue to entrust corporations to carry out their human rights reporting using the due diligence analyses they themselves designed? 

In many ways, the business and human rights field will be defined by the next decade and how we tackle current challenges with implementation. What needs must be met in the next 10 years in shaping either a new covenant on business and human rights or implementing domestic global supply chain transparency laws, or both? Taking stock of the progress made so far, this seminar will discuss what needs to happen in the next decade to ensure human rights abuses by corporations are mitigated and corporations held accountable when adverse impacts occur.

If you have questions, please contact Victoria Skeie at NCHR: victoria.skeie@nchr.uio.no  

Published Nov. 23, 2021 5:19 PM - Last modified Nov. 24, 2021 3:16 PM