Joint ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) – Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, in collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), held a Joint Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility on 28 – 29 November 2012 in Singapore.

The joint workshop aimed to provide participants with conceptual understanding and practical experiences on link between business and human rights and relevant international standards and frameworks; knowledge of different approaches to address CSR issues in ASEAN and Australia including mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement, and providing access to remedies; and understanding on multi stakeholder engagement. Participants and resource speakers represented various stakeholders from government, business, academe and CSOs from ASEAN countries and Australia.

Mr. Edgardo Amistad, Chairman of the ASEAN CSR Network expressed that given their years of experience in promoting CSR within the ASEAN Region, “philanthropy”, often driven by cultural and religious views, remains the norm in implementing CSR in business. Also Mr. Thomas Thomas, CEO of the ASEAN CSR Network and executive director of Singapore Compact for CSR, stressed that businesses in ASEAN often focused on “how money is made” and not about “how money is spent”.

Ms. Vanessa Zimmerman, Business and Human Rights Expert was also invited as keynote speaker to present John Ruggie’s UN Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for Business and Human Rights & Guiding Principles (UNGPs).

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