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DFAT NGO Forum on Human Rights

DFAT NGO Forum on Human Rights

DFAT NGO Forum on Human Rights

The changing global environment poses new challenges and threats to human rights. Violations of these rights hamper development, create instability and lead to conflict. We all have a responsibility to defend and protect human rights.

The changing global environment poses new challenges and threats to human rights. Violations of these rights hamper development, create instability and lead to conflict. We all have a responsibility to defend and protect human rights.

Forty percent of the hundred largest economic entities in the world are not states, but companies. Businesses shape the lives and opportunities of millions of people around the world, and the issue of social responsibility in the corporate sector has become the subject of increased attention in recent years.

Forty percent of the hundred largest economic entities in the world are not states, but companies

These opportunities and challenges are among the issues that were debated at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s NGO Forum on Human Rights on Friday 7 November.

Minister Flanagan and representatives from the Department led discussion with human rights organisations, business leaders, and civil society representatives.

DFAT NGO form on Human Rights ‘Business and Human Rights/Implement UN Guiding Principles’ was Jo Daniels, Sustainable Communities Manager Marks and Spencer; Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and William Echikson PIC: NO FEE, JULIEN BEHAL/MAXWELLS.

The forum focused on the theme of “business and human rights” and, specifically, on the implementation of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Guiding Principles state that governments have the duty to protect rights, companies have a responsibility to respect rights, and both governments and companies must work to provide a remedy when violations occur.

The “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework is the first global standard for preventing human rights abuses and addressing the risk of human rights being negatively affected as a result of business activity. The principles were unanimously adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2011.

Minister Flanagans address to the Human Rights Forum - "Our challenge is to harmonise economic growth with protection of human rights"

After the Forum, we are hosting a wider consultation with interested groups and experts. The results of debate at the Forum and input during the consultation will be built into our National Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles. We will present this plan to the UN Human Rights Council next year.

Listen to the NGO Forum on Human Rights

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Learn more about the Forum and our Human Rights policy