Geneva – 27 November 2017 – More than 2,000 leaders from business, government and civil society will join forces to find solutions to the challenges faces in integrating human rights throughout business practices from 27 to 29 November at the UN Forum for Business and Human Rights in Geneva. With a long-term focus on developing sustainable opportunities for farmers and families living in rural communities where tobacco is grown, the ECLT Foundation recognises the importance of keeping human rights high on the agenda of businesses and governments, fostering collaboration and sharing practices proven to be effective.
This year’s Forum focuses on ensuring access to effective remedy, which is the third pillar of the “Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework” of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Though remedy has received significant focus in the past few years, there is still need to assess what efforts are effective, identify gaps and involve stakeholders like business, governments, unions and civil society, to improve situations faced by workers and communities further and faster.
— The ECLT Foundation (@ECLTFoundation) November 27, 2017
The first day of the Forum featured important conversations including an opening session on how to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the UNGPs, aiming to ensure an integrated and sustainable approach that goes beyond traditional views of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Caroline Rees from Shift suggested that businesses and governments need to look at the SDGs in the same way for people-related issues as they do for those relating to the environment, improving current actions and policies rather than jumping to look for innovation without building a strong base.
The importance of multi-stakeholder engagement was highlighted in a case study on Malawi Tea 2020, a coalition bringing together the tea sector, unions, Government and civil society towards improving the situation faced by tea workers and communities. The ECLT Foundation is committed to finding collaborative solutions for improving lives in agricultural communities and welcomes the work done by Malawi Tea 2020 moving towards systemic change for farmers and their families.
The ECLT Foundation will continue to follow key sessions relating to ensuring the rights of children, farmers and families and creating shared value in agricultural supply chains. A live cast of selected sessions can be viewed online at the OHCHR website.
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