30 November 2021, 10:25-11:40
Chris Yang, Unplash
The state duty to protect against human rights abuses by business, including from the tech sector, requires states to adopt appropriate measures to prevent and address such abuses.
According to Pillar I of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) – which reflects human rights obligations that states have under international human rights law –, states should consider the ‘full range of permissible preventative and remedial measures, including policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication’. Therefore, the UNGPs provide a useful roadmap for governments in addressing technology-related human rights issues. Through a smart-mix of measures, the state has a critical role in ensuring good corporate conduct, facilitating multi-stakeholder engagement, and driving the corporate responsibility to respect through measures that foster the uptake of human rights due diligence among technology companies.
As regulatory efforts to require technology companies to respect human rights intensify worldwide, the OHCHR B-Tech project and the Geneva Academy are consulting on the idea of a so-called ‘UNGPs check’. Aimed at guiding the legislative process and at informing the design of tech regulation to foster rights-respecting regulatory frameworks, it would serve as a tool to inform engagement with policymakers.
This panel at the 2021 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights – co-organized with OHCHR B-Tech project – will:
Panelists will notably address the following questions:
This event forms part of our research project on disruptive technologies and rights-based resilience – funded by the Geneva Science-Policy Interface – that aims at supporting the development of regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.
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Dustan Woodhouse, Unplash
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