Archives for December 2014

RDR @ the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights


In early December for the third year in a row, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights convened its annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. The purpose of the forum, according to the official website, is to operationalize core principles for business in respecting human rights around the world, in all sectors:

The United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights is a space for representatives and practitioners from civil society, business, government, international organizations and affected stakeholders to take stock of challenges and discuss ways to move forward in carrying out the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.

The full three-day program can be downloaded here. I also recommend watching the videos of some of the plenary sessions, available here. I represented RDR for the first time at the forum on three different panels:

On the opening day, I was invited to represent RDR in a session called “Ranking business and human rights: The potential of benchmarking corporate respect for human rights” alongside leaders of the Access to Medicines Index, Oxfam’s Behind the Brands, plus a newly-launched project – even younger than RDR – called the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.

On day two I discussed ways that civil society and researchers have engaged with Internet companies on free expression and privacy issues in a session called “Respect in practice – progress and challenges in implementing the corporate responsibility to respect Embedding the UN Guiding Principles in decision-making and processes“.

On day three, I moderated a session called The Right To Privacy in the Digital Age. Despite the fact that the panel started at 8am, the discussion was lively and rich, thanks to the insights of a diverse range of panelists. Here is the video: