The VI Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean was held virtually from October 4 to 6, 2021, under the slogan “Building the business and human rights agenda for the next decade.”
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Ten years after the adoption of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (PRNU), the Forum was a great opportunity for reflection on the pending challenges and offered a space for dialogue between governments, companies, society civil society and other interested groups such as indigenous peoples, workers’ organizations and international organizations, on trends, challenges and good practices to prevent and address the negative impacts of companies on human rights.
The next decade of the Guiding Principles calls especially on the States of the world to redouble their commitments and take concrete actions to create the enabling conditions for the respect of human rights by companies. However, the participation of other interested parties in the framework of the construction and implementation of the business and human rights agenda has not only proven to be a necessity for legitimacy but also a guarantee for its effectiveness and continuity.
Furthermore, the current world situation and the context of economic reactivation and climate crisis, emphasize the importance of the existence of a business and human rights agenda committed to addressing structural problems that are exacerbated, such as inequality, poverty and informality. and in mitigating the negative effects on human rights caused by the pandemic.
In this scenario, reflect among the different parties involved on the opportunities in the region to build greater coherence between the related agendas and move decisively towards the prevention, mitigation and repair of the negative impacts of business activity on human rights and the environment, it becomes fundamental.
In line with its purpose, during the VI Regional Forum experiences have been discussed and shared in different areas that were included in panels such as: “The consolidation of international coherence for the next decade of Business and Human Rights in the region”, “The role of civil society”, “Instruments of public policy in Business and Human Rights”, “State of the process towards a legally binding instrument on Business and Human Rights”, among others. It should be noted that, prior to the start of the Forum, on October 4, there were different preparatory sessions. From Fundeps we also participate in the preparatory session for Civil Society Organizations.
We celebrate the enrichment of this meeting and reaffirm the need to continue actively participating and strengthening this type of spaces that seek to contribute to a greater implementation of the UNRP in Latin America and the Caribbean through greater appropriation and collective construction of concrete recommendations aimed at States, companies and other parties involved.
We also hope that the dialogue will be fruitful for all the actors and give a boost to the different initiatives in force at the global level for the protection and respect of human rights (such as the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights or the International Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Companies and other companies with respect to Human Rights) and that is not only limited to good intentions but also really serves to improve the relationship between business activity, workers, the environment and local communities.
Gonzalo Roza, firstname.lastname@example.org