On 10 December, CIFAL Flanders and Flanders Investment & Trade, hosted a seminar on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Belgian National Action Plan that is currently being drafted. The UNGPs are a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. The policy framework consists of three pillars: (1) the state duty to protect against human rights abuses of third parties, (2) the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the need for greater access by victims to effective remedy, judicial and non-judicial.
Since the UNGPs where endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011, various countries have made efforts to translate the framework into a National Action Plan. As a Belgian National Action Plan is on its way, the seminar also focussed on what steps have already been taken, what the plan will entail and what consequences this process will have on businesses. The seminar was concluded with a presentation of the business case of JBC, where participants could learn how a company can implement the respect for human rights in their CSR strategy.
Welcome – Claire Tillekaerts, CEO Flanders Investment & Trade
Foundation CIFAL Flanders, UN Training Centre for Implementing the SDGs – Peter Wollaert, Managing Director CIFAL Flanders
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Koen De Feyter, Professor International Law University of Antwerp; Lieselot Verdonck – Ph.D Researcher Human Rights Centre Ghent University
The Belgian National Action Plan – Hélène De Bock, Belgian Foreign Affairs; Dieter Vander Beke, Belgian Federal Institute for Sustainable Development
Flemish approach and examples of contributions to the Belgian National Action Plan – Nathalie De Nul, Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs; Gert Van Eeckhout, Flemish Department of Work and Social Economy; Jan Van Den Einde, Flanders Investment & Trade
Civil society assessment of the existing National Action Plans across Europe – Jerome Chaplier, Coordinator of the European Coalition of Corporate Justice
Human Rights and CSR: Strengthening the business case of JBC – Griet Cattaert, JBC
Please find the booklet and photo’s of the seminar below.
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