More than 100 business leaders and experts met in Sydney recently for the third Dialogue on Business and Human Rights, Australia's annual national multi-stakeholder, multi-sector forum aimed at driving the business and human rights agenda forward.
The Dialogue – a joint initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Global Compact Network Australia – involves business, government, civil society, investors and academia.
“There is strong momentum in Australia’s corporate landscape for better understanding and implementation of business-related human rights obligations. It’s an important area of work for the Commission and we are again pleased to be partnering with the Global Compact to progress dialogue on these issues", said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs.
The Dialogue has continued to evolve since its inception in 2014, with growing awareness by Australian businesses of the importance of understanding and managing their human rights impacts.
“Human rights remains a key risk for Australian businesses both domestically and overseas. The issue is critical for every business to understand, both in terms of direct and indirect impacts such as through supply chains. Engaging with NGOs and other stakeholders is an important part of understanding and managing this risk, and the Dialogue is an opportunity for this,” said Alice Cope, Executive Manager, Global Compact Network Australia.
The Australian Government is also taking steps in this area, having announced an intention to conduct national consultations on implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights during 2016.
Photo: Nicola Wakefield Evans, Gillian Triggs and Ming Long at the event.