IOM joins UN regional leaders in calling for concrete action to mainstream human rights standards into business practices
– A leading regional forum called for a renewed commitment from businesses and governments to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Regional heads of eight United Nations (UN) organizations released a joint video statement calling for “principled collaboration between business and the international community,” to address growing gaps in social justice, public health and human rights. environmental progress.
United Nations leaders urged delegates at this year’s Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights (June 1-4) to take “tangible and meaningful action” on responsible business practices, women, protection of migrants’ rights, climate action, human rights due diligence and the use of data in monitoring international labor and environmental standards.
“Let us commit to taking action for economic development that is inclusive and that protects our environment,” the statement read.
In her recorded message, Dr Nenette Motus, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, highlighted the important role migrant workers played during the pandemic. “During the pandemic, frontline workers, many of whom are migrants, played a critical role in all types of businesses, which indirectly benefited, for example, from the dependence of their staff on workers. migrants for necessary health care, child care, housework and more. We must recognize the myriad benefits and development impact that accompany migration when it is managed in a safe, regular and orderly manner. A successful recovery will only be possible if it fully includes migrants, ”said Dr Motus.
The Forum takes place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – considered a foundational guide to global human rights standards for business.
During 46 scheduled round tables bringing together over 200 experts, it will assess progress and responses to business and human rights challenges, including eradicating the worst forms of child labor, eliminating violence and harassment in supply chains and the empowerment of women to create more inclusive value chains, among others.
The event comes as many countries in the Asia-Pacific region grapple with the severe health and economic consequences of a damaging phase of the pandemic. Discussions will also focus on the impact of COVID-19 on progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While the pandemic has highlighted pre-existing protection gaps, the Forum will also examine a broader context of issues relating to responsible business, including climate change and environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, rising inequalities. , reduction of civic space and lack of accountability, among others. The need for structural and systemic change to achieve sustainable development for all has become increasingly urgent.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Forum is virtual this year, bringing participants together on a dedicated internet platform. Over 2,000 delegates from governments, businesses, civil society organizations and labor groups have registered for this year’s event.
Hosts of the United Nations Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights include the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP ), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women ), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Business and Human Rights Working Group (UNWG).
The event is sponsored by the European Union (EU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).