ICJ/FES Conference: Business and Human Rights – From National Practice to International Binding Standards

On 12 October in Geneva and online, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) will bring together national and international leaders and practitioners for a conference to share the developments and evidence from national practice and discuss ways in which international binding standards can draw from that practice and provide a key impetus for the effective development and operation of other national initiatives across the globe.

States bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights also in the context of business enterprises. In application of those obligations, several countries have stepped up their regulatory activity, including legislation, to require from business enterprises behaviour that is human rights, socially and environmentally responsible. This growing activity is compounded by increasing awareness among the public on the need and urgency to act in this domain.

Some of the State legislation establishes obligations of disclosure, while others establish reporting obligations on non-financial matters. More recently, some States have adopted legislation establishing requirements to business enterprises to carry out human rights due diligence processes and provide for remedial action in that context. Currently, the European Union and countries outside Europe are considering such laws. However, it is becoming clearer that national or regional initiatives need corresponding international legal and policy frameworks to be fully effective.

Since 2014, a UN Intergovernmental Working Group is discussing a draft legally binding instrument to regulate business activities under human rights law. The next session at the end of October 2022 should consider drafting proposals. At the ILO, since 2016 there have been important discussions about the pertinence and need of normative action by the organization in particular in relation to decent work in businesses’ global supply chain. These developments have engendered a growing interest among the most industrialized economies for global binding standards in this field. A recent meeting of labour ministries of the G7 made a call for joint work towards those global standards.

It is in this context, that will be hosting our business and human rights conference on moving from national practice to international binding standards.

Event details:

  • Date: Wednesday, 12 October 2022
  • Time: 1:30pm – 6:30pm CEST
  • Format: In person at Varembé Conference Centre (CCV), Rue de Varembé 9, 1202 Genève and online via Zoom. Seats for in-person participation are limited and will be assigned on a first come first served basis. Please register accordingly.
  • Conference languages: English, French and Spanish.
Download the Programme

Registration details:

We welcome your participation in this conference. Please register by Monday, 10 October 2022 to participate in person or online. You will receive registration confirmation and dial-in information approximately 48hrs before the start of the event.

Register Here