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HRDD: Integral to Business and Trade in South Asia

Organized by: amfori

Textile Worker


Human rights due diligence (HRDD) is at the heart of what companies are expected to do to manage the negative impacts they might be connected to. The concept of HRDD is embedded in international standards such as the UNGPs and the OECD MNE Guidelines.

These standards are extremely relevant in that they inform, amongst others : mandatory due diligence laws, like the EU due diligence directive and the German Supply Chain Law, investors and stakeholders’ expectations.

There are a growing number of countries passing legislation to translate responsible business conduct expectations into hard laws. Whilst many laws are yet to become effective, they are already having an impact on global trade today. Countries are gearing up with their commitments to the United Nation’s Guiding Principles. National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights have already been formally adopted by Pakistan whilst India is likely to adopt its NAP in 2022 and Nepal has formally committed to developing a NAP.

The session will explore the repercussions that HRDD could have on global trade, mix of policy measures governments can use to meet their state duty to protect human rights, business responses to the due diligence frameworks and the rising expectations from stakeholders, tools and initiatives for businesses to meet their responsibility to respect human rights and remain competitive.

The dialogue will focus on

  • Drivers of HRDD

  • How are governments responding to the changing landscape and what is the mix of policy measures governments can use to meet their state duty to protect human rights?

  • Tools used by governments such as Free Trade Agreements and Procurement policies and their Impact on trade

  • Challenges in implementing frameworks, what can drive implementation and impact.

  • How is business responding to the due diligence frameworks and what kind of pressures are they subjected to?

  • Value of partnerships

As the scale and scope of business-related human rights issues gains wider attention, there is seemingly more at stake, including the direction of international trade and investment policy.


Importance of the Session

A number of legislations are expected to become effective in the coming years, more national level laws are being passed. It is imperative that we collectively reflect on the implications of those developments and on how best to ensure both businesses and governments are well prepared.


Session Objectives

  • Highlight the changing legislative landscape and frameworks for business and trade in South Asia with emphasis on Business and Human Rights

  • Highlight key risks business and human rights in South Asia

  • Facilitate and inspire change

  • Share initiatives, programmes and tools that can be leveraged by stakeholders to implement change


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