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Roundtable and Joint Civil Society Statement on Business and Human Rights (2016)

Business and Human Rights Business and Human Rights
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Business planning meeting

In March 2016, the Australian Government announced its intention to undertake a national consultation on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). On 25 May 2016, the Australian Human Rights Commission co-hosted a roundtable with the Human Rights Law Centre on implementing the UNGPs in Australia.

The roundtable involved key civil society organisations, academics and legal bodies with interest and expertise in the area of business and human rights and was supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The outcomes document from the roundtable, Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia: Joint Civil Society Statement (Statement) was submitted to the Australian Government. 

The key question underpinning the Statement was: how are the UNGPs to be operationalised in Australia? The Statement sets out civil society’s priority recommendations to the Australian Government on implementing the UNGPs.

Read the Statement: 

Implementing UNGPs in Australia - Joint Civil Society Statement.pdf

Implementing UNGPs in Australia - Joint Civil Society Statement.docx

One of the key recommendations in the Statement was the development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP). The UN Human Rights Council supports the development of NAPs as a method for achieving UNGP uptake. NAPs are policy statements that provide an overall approach and set of government commitments articulating a government’s strategy for implementing the UNGPs.

The UNGPs were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011, and provide a global standard for preventing and addressing adverse human impacts linked to business activity.