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29 March


Remedying Human Rights Abuses in South Asia: Knocking on Doors Beyond the Region

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The third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) envisages three types of mechanisms to provide access to effective remedy in cases involving business-related human rights abuses: state-based judicial mechanisms, state-based non-judicial mechanisms, and non-state-based grievance mechanisms. Despite the recent uptick in business and human rights policies developed and implemented by States and businesses, rights holders continue to face a wide range of obstacles in accessing grievance mechanisms and/or securing effective remedy. Women (including girls) experience business-related human rights abuses in unique ways and are often affected disproportionately. Women also face multiple forms of discrimination and experience additional barriers in seeking access to effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses. Considering these circumstances, various actors have started to identify alternative avenues for corporate accountability and searching for remedies outside their own countries and the South Asia region – often in home States where the parent companies of large multinational enterprises are based.


Session Description 


To guide stakeholders in their quest to advance access to remedy in South Asia, the session will provide a brief recap on the different types of grievance mechanisms and remedies, as well as what attributes are required for them to be effective in terms of process and outcome, including integrating a gender perspective. Panelists will briefly reflect on the current situation in South Asia, discuss to what extent different mechanisms and remedies are available, and identify the most pertinent obstacles towards obtaining effective remedy. Once participants have a general overview of the current state of remedy in South Asia, panelists shed a light on specific cases where rights holders have attempted seek remedy beyond South Asian borders and jurisdictions.

Session Objectives 

The key objectives of this session are to: 

  • Outline different types of grievance mechanisms and remedies, and what makes them effective, including from the perspective of migrant workers, women and girls;

  • Reflect to what extent effective remedy is available in South Asia, both in terms of process and outcome; and

  • Discuss the possibilities of seeking access to remedy at the transnational level.



Panelists will reflect on the following questions: 

  • Which grievance mechanisms and remedies are most prevalent, accessible and effective in South Asia, including from the perspective of migrant workers, women and girls?

  • What are the key barriers to remedy faced by rights holders in South Asia?  What are the unique barriers men, women or non-binary people face in accessing effective remedies?

  • How can South Asian rights holders seek remedy outside the jurisdiction where their human rights were harmed? What are some good examples in this regard?  

  • What can be done to strengthen mechanisms and access to effective remedy in South Asia?


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