Highlighting defender voices at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum

In order to echo the concerns and experiences of defenders in these spaces, ISHR and partners organised and co-hosted a range of events in parallel to the 11th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (28-30 November).

The 11th UN Forum on Business and Human Forum saw a return to in-person discussions for the first time since the start of the pandemic. This allowed ISHR and partners to bring in the voices, concerns and experiences of human rights defenders through a series of events tackling issues and challenges along the lines of the central theme of this year’s forum: ‘Rights holders at the centre: Strengthening accountability to advance business respect for people and planet in the next decade.’

These events focused on the responsibility of companies operating in Russia in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine; on Covid-19 vaccines, transparency, and the repression of defenders repression during the pandemic; the role of women human rights defenders protecting people and planet in Latin America against abuses by extractive industries; on questioning if the UN Guiding Principles and National action plans are being effective as a remedy for victims and human rights defenders; and lastly, ISHR hosted the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Corporate Human Rights Benchmark launch. 

These events, gathering many strategic partners together, become key in reinforcing ISHR’s priorities on business and human rights, with defenders always at the center.

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