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Cuarta Consulta regional para América Latina y el Caribe: Mirando hacia el futuro: acciones para fomentar una conducta empresarial responsable* [EN/ES]

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Consejo de Derechos Humanos 44º período de sesiones 15 de junio a 3 de julio de 2020 Tema 3 de la agenda

Promoción y protección de todos los derechos humanos, civiles, políticos, económicos, sociales y culturales, incluido el derecho al desarrollo

Informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre la cuestión de los derechos humanos y las empresas transnacionales y otras empresas

Executive Summary in English

  1. The Fourth Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean on Business and Human Rights – “Looking ahead – Actions to foster responsible business conduct”, was held on 3 and 4 September 2019 at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) premises in Santiago de Chile, Chile. The Regional Consultation was organized by the Regional Office for South America of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (Working Group), in cooperation with the European Union, the International Organization of Labour (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the framework of the EU- funded project on Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean (RBCLAC), and with the support of the Government of Germany.

  2. The multi-stakeholder consultation, which gathered over 230 participants from 20 countries, built upon three previous Regional Consultations as well as the annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, held in Geneva, Switzerland, and focused on: (i) the duty of States to protect (including discussions on the development of National Actions Plans on Business and Human Rights; and the duty of States in their role as an economic actor); (ii) the corporate responsibility to respect human rights (including discussions on human rights due diligence; reporting and transparency and the role of multi-stakeholder initiatives); (iii) access to remedy (including judicial and non-judicial mechanisms and OECD National Contact Points); (iv) climate change; and (v) situation of particular issues in focus (human rights defenders; indigenous peoples, women and children).

  3. The Consultation sought to foster multi-stakeholder dialogue and a sharing of experiences, good practices and lessons learnt in order to promote mutual learning on policies and practices aimed at promoting responsible business conduct. This included taking stock of the implementation by States and businesses in the region of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and other international standards, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), as well as incentivizing initiatives for their further implementation.

  4. Some of the challenges and opportunities identified included: (a) All Governments represented at the Consultation showed commitment towards the development, implementation and review of NAPs or other public policies on responsible business conduct. Based on the discussions, and in order to strengthen the effectiveness and legitimacy of these instruments, it was recommended to:

(i) Strengthen the participation of all stakeholders in the development, implementation and review of NAPs (and other public policies), including affected communities - indigenous and non-indigenous, representatives of civil society organizations - including workers' and women's organizations; and national human rights institutions. It was highlighted that there is a need to ensure that their views are taken into account and that there is transparency around these processes;

(ii) Strengthen inter-ministerial work in the public sector and collaboration with the judiciary and legislative powers, with the objective to identify opportunities for alignment and coordination that would help ensure compliance with State commitments to protect and respect human rights - and hence ensure policy coherence;

(iii) Encourage the development of business and human rights baseline assessments, for both the public and private sectors;

(iv) Ensure development and inclusion of voluntary and mandatory measures, including on human rights due diligence, free, prior and informed consultation and extraterritorial obligations.