News & Events

IHRB at the 2016 UN Annual Forum on Business & Human Rights

08 November 2016.

The 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights takes place in Geneva from 14 to 16 November. IHRB is co-organising, moderating or speaking at a number of sessions.
 

The Role of Companies in Addressing Legal and Societal Discrimination Against LGBTI People

Monday 14 November
15:00 - 16:20
Room XXVII

In many countries companies have been at the forefront of tackling discrimination against gay and lesbian people by establishing firm policies internally and advocating for change at national and international levels. The Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and IHRB conducted consultations in Mumbai, New York, Kampala, and Brussels, with a view to gathering examples of good practice in this field and preparing guidance for companies, to be launched in early 2017.

This session will explore how companies operate in difficult environments where discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people persists. It will showcase the experiences of companies and activists. It will provide examples of what companies can do to provide meaningful, practical support to LGBTI communities, as well as the role that companies can play in promoting laws, policies and actions that advance human rights. Participants will also discuss what can be done to improve respect for human rights and what Governments need to do to eliminate discrimination and promote diversity and protect human rights. Finally, the session will provide an overview of the corporate principles for Human Rights of LGBTI people under preparation.
 

Human Rights in the Context of Mega-Sporting Events 

Tuesday 15 November
09:00 - 10:20
Room XXI

Sport has a unique capacity to inspire humanity, and mega-sporting events (MSE) have great potential to positively impact the lives of people in the countries that host them.  But such large-scale events also involve significant risks to human rights and labor rights. After years of rising public concern in the arena of major global sports tournaments new collaborative efforts are needed.

On 13th-14th October 2016, the U.S. Department of State, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and IHRB co-hosted the global “Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights”, which sought to highlight and devise effective strategies to address the human rights challenges associated with every stage of the lifecycle of mega-sporting events.

The aim of this session is to present the ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue process on this matter as well as a set of principles on collective action to address human rights challenges related to Mega-sporting events and answer to questions from the audience.


Eradicating Worker-Paid Recruitment Fees

Tuesday 15 November
16:40 - 18:00
Room XXVII

In this session, IHRB's John Morrison will lead a conversation to discuss what concrete action is required to tackle one of the root causes of modern slavery - worker fees. IKEA and Marks & Spencer, both members of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, will make a bold call to action for collaborative leadership by global companies to eradicate worker-paid recruitment fees in the next ten years, based on the Employer Pays Principle. The US State Department will discuss the importance of the role of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and the discussion will explore what part investors and workers’ organisations can and must play in pushing for higher standards.
 

Leadership, Leverage and the Special Challenges of Big Data

Wednesday 16 November
15:00 - 16:20
Room XXIII

Big Data will be one of the greatest human rights challenges for societies in the future – across many areas of government and business. Yet public awareness of the way in which information concerning them is collected, held and used is very low and businesses have tended to focus on the many advantages of such data more than the associated responsibilities. Obtaining and deploying large sets of data by businesses present unique challenges for embedding human rights into the internal workings of the corporation, and into the company’s role in a supply chain. Leadership in standard setting and the duty to exercise leverage both have special profiles when Big Data is the concern.

This session will draw on the work being carried out by the multi-disciplinary 'Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project' at the University of Essex, Human Rights Centre. The session will also make use of the insights and recommendations resulting from the IHRB-Wilton Park meeting on the issue in June 2016.

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