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Supporting action on business and human rights

Graphic: Migrant workers

NHRIs in the Asia Pacific will focus on tackling business-related human rights violations, after adopting the APF’s new five-year strategic plan.

APF members will focus on tackling business-related human rights violations, as well as supporting corporations to improve their human rights practices, following the adoption in March of the APF's new five-year strategic plan.

Across the Asia Pacific region, individuals and communities can experience a wide range of human rights violations as a result of the actions of business, from environmental degradation and "land grabs" through to unsafe and exploitative work practices.

In 2010, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from around the globe committed themselves to addressing corporate abuses of human rights and to providing greater support for victims of business-related rights violations.

The Edinburgh Declaration, adopted at the 10th ICC International Conference, called on NHRIs to conduct national and international monitoring of corporate compliance with human rights law; provide advice to business, government and affected communities; and undertake research, education and promotion.

To support our members in this work, the APF has joined forces with the Danish Institute of Human Rights to deliver a new blended learning course on business and human rights.

The course, which began in March, includes from the NHRIs of Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste.

It includes four weeks of online learning and discussions (16 March-10 April 2015) on the key standards and guidelines relating to business and human rights, as well as different initiatives taking place at international, regional and national levels.

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is a particular focus of the course. Participants will examine the unique role that NHRIs can play to promote progress across the Guideline's three pillars:

  • State duty to protect
  • Corporate responsibility to respect, and
  • Access to remedy.

Participants who successfully complete the online course will attend a three-day face-to-face workshop in Bangkok from 5-7 May 2015.

Date: 20 April 2015

Image credits

  1. Migrant workers - Karen Blumberg, Flickr Creative Commons