Various sessions at the 4th UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights will touch on how the hardening of soft standards such as the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) is set to impact South Asian businesses and economies. For example, the development and adoption of mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) legislation in Europe will likely bring greater attention to business-related human rights impacts in global supply chains. France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have enacted human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies, while the European Union (EU) has published a Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive which is set to harmonize HRDD obligations across the EU.
To navigate challenges related to HRDD in global supply chains, the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights are offering a closed-door training workshop for companies.
The training targets companies from, active in or linked to South Asia. The training will consist of three parts. First, a training which will provide an introduction to Pillars II and III of the UNGPs targeting companies who are not yet familiar core concepts in the UNGPs such as corporate human rights policies, HRDD and operational-level grievance mechanisms. Second, an interactive group discussion where companies will discuss case studies related to HRDD, social auditing, the use of leverage in supply chains and operational-level grievance mechanisms. Third, a training on integrating intersectional and gender perspectives into HRDD and grievance mechanisms.
The training aims to:
Increase the understanding of participants on how companies can respect human rights
Highlight and discuss dilemmas faced by companies through interactive and illustrative case studies
Facilitate a platform to exchange ideas and learn from peers and experts
The training will be held in a closed-door format for companies, with observance of the Chatham House Rules.
A tentative agenda of the training is as follows:
12.00 – 1.30 pm: Lunch
1.30 – 2.30 pm: Training on the UNGPs and Business Respect for Human Rights by Pichamon Yeophantong, Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
2.30 – 4.00 pm: Case Studies and Group Discussion facilitated by Dr. Pichamon Yeophantong, Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights; Kevin Lehmann, Business and Human Rights Analyst, United Nations Development Programme
4.00 – 5.00 pm: Training on integrating intersectionality, gender and HRDD by Sudarsana Kundu, Managing Director, Gender at Work Consulting