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Side Event- Business and Human Rights in Asia & the Pacific: Exploring Best Practice and Shaping Future Benchmark Methodology

An event with Mr. Livio Sarandrea, Mr. Hiroshi Ishida, Ms. Camille Le Pors and Ms. Felicitas Weber
United Nations Development Programme, Caux Round Table Japan, World Benchmarking Alliance and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

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About this event

CONTEXT

Despite decades of global standard building and norm promoting linked to business and human rights, many companies are only beginning to adjust their policies, processes, practices and responses in their operations and across their supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised many pre-existing challenges in supply chains and the treatment of employees within them. It has underscored more than ever that preventing adverse impacts on workers, communities and consumers is one of the most pressing challenges companies face in today’s globalised working place.

ABOUT THE WBA'S CORPORATE HUMAN RIGHTS BENCHMARK

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) is part of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), which seeks to generate a movement and accountability around increasing the private sector’s impact towards a sustainable future for all.

CHRB produces free, publicly available benchmarks that rank global companies annually on their human rights performance. The latest iteration was published in November 2019 and assessed 200 companies from the Apparel, Agricultural Products, Extractives and Information and Communications Technology Manufacturing. 

The CHRB assessment is based on the CHRB Methodology, which is grounded in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and informed by extensive multi-stakeholder consultation involving representatives from over 400 companies, governments, civil society organisations, investors, academics and legal experts from around the world. The CHRB also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals including the principle of leaving no one behind.

SESSION DESCRIPTION

This session will explore the current state of corporate human rights performance according to the latest Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, with a particular focus on Asia and the Pacific, where over a quarter of companies assessed in 2019 were headquartered. This will include looking at how companies perform in the region and how this compares to companies that are headquartered in other parts of the world. It will also discuss key findings that relate to the region, such as the status of supply chain management and the main human rights risks identified.

This session will be interactive and invite participants to shape the next human rights benchmarks, by sharing their views on the CHRB methodology and how it could be strengthened going forward. This is in the context of broader consultations that the Corporate Human Rights Benchmarks is holding in 2020 to gather feedback and inputs on its overall approach. This session will therefore be an opportunity for participants to make suggestions for improving the CHRB methodology and process, with a particular focus on Asia & the Pacific.

The session will be moderated by Camille Le Pors, WBA’s Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Lead. To initiate the interactive discussion on the CHRB methodology, we also will ask two business and human rights specialists with a focus on Asia and the Pacific to provide some opening remarks.

QUESTIONS

  • How do companies perform on human rights in Asia & the Pacific, looking at key risks such as child labour, forced labour, wages, land rights, freedom of association and collective bargaining?

  • How does this compare to companies in other regions and to global averages?

  • What key business and human rights challenges has the CHRB identified in the region?

  • How can benchmarking results be used to drive better corporate respect for human rights?

  • How could the CHRB improve its methodology and process going forward?

  • How can we ensure that the CHRB’s methodology and process are relevant to the Asia and Pacific context?

Mr. Livio Sarandrea

Livio Sarandrea, is UNDP’s Business and Human Rights Global Adviser. He is also the lead adviser of the Program: “Business and Human Rights in Asia (B+HR Asia)” which is operational in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. A Human Rights lawyer with over 20 years of field experience in Southeast Europe, Africa and Asia, Livio has advised and managed programs on Business and Human Rights, in support of National Human Rights Institutions, Access to Justice, Conflict Prevention, Transitional Justice and Security Sector Reform for OSCE, DPKO/OHCHR and UNDP.

Mr. Hiroshi Ishida

Hiroshi Ishida is the Executive Director of the Caux Round Table Japan. Preceding the CRT Japan, he worked at the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ) for 10 years. After resigning from IBJ in 2000, Ishida was appointed as the Coordinator of CRT Japan, and now he has been working as the Executive Director of CRT Japan.

Ms. Camille Le Pors

Camille leads the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) at WBA. She joined the CHRB in October 2016, and has overall responsibility for producing methodologies and benchmark reports of key companies in high human-rights risk sectors & engagement with stakeholders to further the use of the data and methodologies.

Ms. Felicitas Weber

Felicitas joined the Resource Centre in 2016. She is leading the development of the KnowTheChain project, working closely with the initiative's partners Humanity United, Sustainalytics, and Verité. KnowTheChain is ranking the 180 largest global ICT, food & beverage, and apparel companies on their efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains, and engaging investors on the topic.

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