Business and Human Rights

INTRODUCTION

The ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights

On 15 June 2011, in its Resolution A/HRC/17/L.17/Rev.1, the UN Human Rights Council welcomes, "...the important role of national human rights institutions established in accordance with the Paris Principles in relation to business and human rights, and encourages national human rights institutions to further develop their capacity to fulfil that role effectively, including with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner and in addressing all relevant actors...".

 

This statement by the UN Human Rights Council followed two years of advocacy by National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), led by the ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights, to increase understanding and raise awareness of NHRIs' role and mandate in addressing business and human rights issues.

 

The ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights is the first thematic working group of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC). The Working Group was established by the ICC in March 2009. It held its first meeting in Copenhagen in August 2009.

 

Mandate and Priorities

Mandate of the ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights 

 
The ICC Working Group on Business and Human Rights aims to support NHRIs in developing their capacity to fulfil their Paris Principles mandate in human rights and business field, both individually through action at national level and via advocacy and collective actions, in the UN system and other international fora.
According to its Mission Statement,
The NHRI Working Group on Business and Human Rights facilitates collaboration among National Human Rights Institutions in relation to strategic planning, joint capacity building and agenda setting in the field of business and human rights, in order to assist National Human Rights Institutions in promoting corporate respect and support for international human rights principles; and in strengthening human rights protection and remediation of abuses in the corporate sector in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders at the domestic, regional and international levels.
 
In 2009, the ICC Bureau gave the Working Group the following mandate :
  • Mandate Area I: Strategic Planning
    The Working Group will facilitate the inclusion of business and human rights issues into NHRI baseline research and strategic planning, and provide a platform for regional and international collaboration on joint NHRI programmes.

  • Mandate Area II: Capacity Building and Resource Sharing
    The Working Group will facilitate development of NHRI staff in relation to business and human rights issues and provide a platform for the exchange of expertise and best practices, and for the joint development of tools and materials.

  • Mandate Area III: Agenda Setting and Outreach
    The Working Group will facilitate ICC and NHRI participation in key domestic, regional and international developments in the business and human rights field. This includes providing support for ICC and NHRI outreach to stakeholders including governments, UN bodies, multilateral institutions, the business community and civil society. 
Strategic Action Plan
 
The Working Group has submitted two strategic action plans to the ICC Bureau; one for the 2009-2011 period, enclosed below. The 2011-2013 Strategic Action Plan is enclosed in the document entitled "ICC WG on BHR Chair's Report to ICC Bureau 101011", within the next section on "Working Group Documents".