UN: 3 ways business is promoting human rights

As stakeholders from around the world prepare for the 2017 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, here are three areas in which business is already making a difference.

On 27-29 November 2017, over 2,000 participants representing governments, businesses, community groups, NGOs, trade unions, academia and the media will meet in Geneva, Switzerland for the 2017 United Nations (UN) Forum on Business and Human Rights. Founded in 2011 alongside the publication of the UN’s landmark Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Forum provides a global platform to take stock of progress made in moving towards the UN Guidelines and discuss major human rights issues in the global economy.

As the world’s largest and most representative business organisation, with a network of over six million members in more than 100 countries, ICC has a broad view of how business and human rights intersect. Moreover, as the only private sector organisation that is an Observer to the UN, ICC has a key role to play in engaging business’ commitment to human rights and the UN sustainable development goals within the UN’s international decision-making system. At the Forum, companies from around the world will be showing how they are providing access to remedy through multi-stakeholder engagement and other means.

Establishing clear common guidelines for how companies can play their part in promoting human rights has already “spurred action by many businesses”, the UN notes. The development of the 2017 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark—an initiative that assesses and ranks 98 of the largest publicly-traded companies according to human rights indicators—also provides a powerful incentive for companies to showcase their corporate human rights records. At the Business and Human Rights Forum, ICC will be co-organising a business briefing and networking event on the first day.

As we approach the November Forum, here are three areas in which business is already making a difference.

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