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NHRIs join global dialogue on access to remedies

Graphic: Migrant worker in the construction industry, Qatar

NHRIs have shared good practice examples for assisting victims of business-related human rights violations at a two-day forum in Geneva.


National human rights institutions (NHRIs) from across the globe have shared good practice examples in assisting victims of business-related human rights violations at a two-day forum in Geneva.

The UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises convened the meeting, in partnership with the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


Workers in a garment factory seen through a window

Promoting respect for human rights by business is a priority for the APF and for our members.

In the Edinburgh Declaration, adopted in 2010, NHRIs from across the globe pledged to uphold the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as advisors, reform seekers, educators and complaint handlers.

They also agreed to take action to curb corporate abuse of human rights and provide greater support for victims of rights violations.


Ahead of the meeting, more than 30 NHRIs – including from Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Samoa from the Asia Pacific region – provided detailed outlines of their work to provide access to remedies for business-related human rights abuses.

These approaches included receiving and mediating individual complaints, monitoring and investigating allegations of human rights violations, raising public awareness of business practices and making submissions and recommendations to judicial bodies.

The discussions at the global consultation, held on 10-11 October 2019, explored these strategies in further detail, along with questions on addressing cross-border and transnational violations and deepening collaboration with other judicial and non-judicial mechanisms.

In addition, NHRIs discussed their role to support human rights defenders who stand against business-related violations, as well as how to strengthen access to remedies for groups who are especially vulnerable to abuses, such as indigenous peoples, women, children, people with disabilities, minorities and LGBTI people.

Recordings from the global consultation are available online at: https://conf.unog.ch/digitalrecordings/

Background information to the global consultation is also available at: https://bit.ly/2IG98H4/

Date: 16 October 2019


Coming up

The 2019 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, to be held on 25-27 November 2019, will include a session where up to four NHRIs will showcase their efforts to facilitate access to remedies for business-related human rights violations.


Image credits

  1. Migrant worker in the construction industry, Qatar - Omar Chatriwala, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2MVNaCR
  2. Workers in a garment factory seen through a window - Matt, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2BNtkmD