Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 11:30 a.m., Room F/G
Transnational companies continually come into conflict with human rights. However, loopholes in regulations often mean that businesses cannot be called to account for human rights abuses. A multitude of standards and initiatives aims to confront this problematic state of affairs. The United Nations has also joined the debate, taking its first major position on the matter in 2011 with the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This workshop aims to provide an introduction to the topic of business and human rights and give an overview of the international standards and current dynamics in this area. How are the UN Guiding Principles rated from the viewpoint of an international NGO consortium and how can they be used to work towards tighter legal regulation of businesses? What do the UN Guiding Principles mean for an industrialized nation like Germany: Which obligations for more stringent regulation of businesses arise from the Guiding Principles, particularly in relation to the activities of German companies abroad?
And what relevance do the UN Guiding Principles have in developing countries such as India, where the activities of transnational corporations have detrimental effects on the human rights of the local population? A journalist and activist from India will report on the difficult conditions he encounters while working there and on the possibilities of using his camera to close the information gap between national and international standards on the one hand and largely marginalized communities on the other. He uses the medium to inform local communities about their rights and to have them document human rights abuses by transnational corporations against them. His goal is to demand the enforcement of human rights by transnational corporations and the Indian state.
Spiess, Dr. Katharina
Lawyer and Adviser on Business and Human Rights, Amnesty International, Berlin, Germany
Coordinator, European Coalition for Corporate Justice, Brussels, Belgium
Policy Advisor on Business and Human Rights, MISEREOR, Aachen, Germany
Shankar Dash, Surya
Filmmaker, Activist and Journalist, Odisha, India
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