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AICHR continues mainstreaming Human Rights in businesses

 

Bangkok, 1 December 2020 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), in partnership with Thailand’s Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), hosted “The Essentials of Human Rights Due Diligence in Business: A Training for ASEAN Institutions,” in Bangkok on 1 and 2 December.

The training is AICHR’s first activity adopting the new-normal format and also the first activity in implementing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. It took place both on site and online.

Sixty experts and representatives from ASEAN joined the training, including representatives from AICHR, ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers, ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, ASEAN Secretariat and National Human Rights Institutions from ASEAN Member States.

Recognising the nexus between business practice and human rights, AICHR organises an annual activity on this issue. This year’s event introduced a learning platform to deepen understanding on the promotion of Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) for the business sector. The learning platform was created to step up regional cooperation and engagement in enabling the implementation of the United Nation Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

Following the global and regional progress on UNGPs and the National Action Plan’s development, the training unpacked the roles of states in setting expectations on HRDD. The training continued with essentials knowledge on HRDD process and link to remediation, and provided lesson learnt on addressing adverse human rights impacts in different context.

 

 

On the second day, participants engaged in group work and applied the key takeaways on HRDD in practice to their work in the respective country.

The global and regional experts who shared theoretical and practical lessons for the two-day training included Prof. Surya Deva, a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Livio Sarandrea, UNDP’s Global Advisor on Business and Human Rights, Sean Lees, UNDP’s Business and Human Rights Specialist, and Dr. Aisha Bidin, Malaysia’s Former Human Rights Commissioner.

Dr. Seree Nonthasoot from the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Thailand’s former Representative to the AICHR, Danish Institute for Human Rights’ Senior Advisor Tulika Bansal, SHIFT’s Vice President and Co-Founder Rachel Davis and Pillar Two’s CEO Vanessa Zimmerman, also shared their expertise at the training.

The training concluded with participants reflecting on the future of UNGPs and their roles in relation to business and human rights progress in ASEAN. In her closing remarks, Thailand’s representative to the AICHR Prof. Amara Pongsapich expressed gratitude to the participants and resource persons for sharing their expertise. Further, she hoped for the AICHR activity to be sustained in the future, so as to support AMS and regional efforts in safeguarding human rights in business contexts.

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