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UN Forum addresses prevention of business-related human rights abuses

9th Forum on Business and Human Rights 16-18 November 2020

GENEVA (13 November 2020) – The world’s largest global conference on business and human rights, convened by the United Nations from 16-18 November, will look at what practical steps States and businesses should take to prevent and address human rights abuses in their activities and across value chains.
The 9th Forum on Business and Human Rights will take place virtually under the theme “Preventing business-related human rights abuses: the key to a sustainable future for people and planet”. It will bring together participants from government, business, institutional investors, community groups and civil society organizations, UN bodies, national human rights institutions, trade unions, academia and the media.

The Forum will also consider how States and the business and investor community should be responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that respects and protects human rights, and how they can contribute to recovery and building back better.

Among the speakers will be:

  • Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Sanda Ojiambo, UN Global Compact, CEO & Executive Director
  • Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice
  • Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders and former President of Ireland
  • Anand Giridharadas, best-selling author and journalist

The Forum is open to the media. Go to https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Forum/Pages/2020ForumBHR.aspx to register.

Watch live during the Forum.


The UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (known as the Working Group on Business and Human Rights) was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011 to promote worldwide dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Working Group is composed of five independent experts, of balanced geographical representation. Its current members are: Ms. Anita Ramasastry (Chairperson), Mr. Dante Pesce (Vice-Chairperson), Mr. Surya DevaMr. Githu Muigai, and Ms. Elżbieta Karska.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 (resolution 17/4), provide the authoritative global standard for action to safeguard human rights in a business context, clarifying what is expected by governments and companies to prevent and address impacts on human rights arising from business activity.

The Working Group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

For further information and media requests, please write to wg-business@ohchr.org.

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza (+41 22 928 9855 / rrosariodesouza@ohchr.org), Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 7578 / jlaurence@ohchr.org).

For the latest updates, follow the Forum on twitter at: @WGBizHRs (Hashtags: #UNForumBHR #BizHumanRights) and Follow OHCHR on social media.

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