Human Rights Council

Progress and opportunities for strengthening BHR…

Progress and opportunities for strengthening BHR in the Middle East and North Africa region - Forum on Business and Human Rights 2022
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Progress and opportunities for strengthening BHR in the Middle East and North Africa region - Rights Holders at The Centre: Strengthening Accountability To Advance Business Respect For People And Planet In The Next Decade - 11th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
11:40am – 1:00pm Progress and opportunities for strengthening BHR in the Middle East and North Africa region (ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH  + ARABIC AVAILABLE)
In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). They articulate the obligations of States and the responsibilities of companies to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities. While the UNGPs have increasingly become better known by governments, businesses, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), civil society actors, academia and the legal community across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, significant gaps remain to translate the UNGPs into effective protection and remedy frameworks that advance corporate responsibility for human rights and the environment across the region. The Roadmap for the next decade of business and human rights developed by the Working Group offers the MENA region a framework to further implement the UNGPs from a rights holder's perspective, and an opportunity for private sector actors to leverage their positions to advance responsible business practices in all economic sectors. The MENA region faces a number of human rights challenges and includes a number of countries with varying economic and social levels. The region is still facing ongoing conflicts in Yemen, and Syria and has experienced diverse levels of economic growth and social change. A number of the counties in the region are heavily reliant on the fossil fuel industry and are currently in the process of grappling with the global pressure of moving from brown to green economies. This change offers the region an opportunity to further implement the UN guiding principles on business and human rights and an opportunity for the private sector to leverage its position to see positive human rights changes. Challenges in relation to inequalities, discrimination, technological advancements, migration, gender, corruption still remain, however there are opportunities for multistakeholder dialogue between States, businesses, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to word together to advance human rights and protect the environment. This session will explore amongst a spectrum of actors the progress that has been made on the business and human rights agenda and will aim to identify areas that can be further advanced and which protection gaps still remain. The session will also look at the implementation of the UNGPs, in particular, highlighting government action and the development of Business and Human Rights National Action Plans (NAPs)