The 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' report prepared by Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Prof. John Ruggie, aims to lay the foundations of a system for better managing business and human rights challenges. What are the opportunities and limitation that this document provides to companies, governments, civil society organisations and communities?
From his side, Rolf Künnemann, Human Rights Director at FIAN International stated that the work behind Business and Human Rights aims primarily at creating a culture of human rights in business. Civil Society has a big role in this as it also emerges clearly from the Ruggie framework. However, according to Mr. Künnemann, states and companies have obligations that CSOs cannot take on: it's the role of states to protect citizens and make sure that companies respect human rights, also outside the territories where they are located and registered.
Finally, according to John Morrison, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, the discussions in the seminar covered a lot of ground, focusing in particular on how the Ruggie framework on Human Rights and Business can be applied in concrete terms. There is now a big challenge and opportunity for the development community to re-apply the right-based approach to development in a business context. He concluded encouraging ICCO to take the lead and develop a position paper on this specific issue, also to create a bridge between the human rights and development communities.
Pier Andrea Pirani