5 February 2019
At our consultation hosted for the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Business and Human Rights (WG), around 40 participants – academics, representatives of international organizations, members of UN treaty bodies, the private sector, business associations and civil society – discussed key issues and challenges related to the application of a ‘gender lens’ to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles).
‘This consultation will feed into the work of the WG, which is currently developing guidance on applying a gender lens to the UN Guiding Principles. A guidance document will be presented by the WG in its June 2019 report to the UN Human Rights Council’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
Participants focused on all aspects of the UNGPs – the state obligation to protect, the business responsibility to respect and access to remedy – to integrate a gender-sensitive and gender-responsive framework in business activities.
‘We both discussed obligations and responsibilities of states and businesses on issues like gender integration in corporate policy commitments, gender-sensitive remediation, how to respond to discriminatory laws, policies, norms and practices, or gender-responsive adjudication of disputes by courts or non-judicial mechanisms’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.
The consultation was also the occasion to present our new publication Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches and discuss its main recommendations.
‘Surya Deva, Chair of the WG, welcomed the publication as it provides in-depth analysis on one of the areas to be covered by the WG, which is the question of gender-responsive due diligence’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.
This project aims to support the WG’s consultation process to apply a ‘gender lens’ to the UN Guiding Principles and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law and policies related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities.
Additionally, it allows the Geneva Academy to host an international conference in Geneva to help the WG finalize its process of global consultations.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform has been contributing to this review by providing expert input, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the discussions towards the follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.
Boston police during a deonstration
This document – the outcome of research and broad consultations carried out under the auspices of the Geneva Academy and the University of Pretoria – provides direction on what constitutes lawful and responsible deployment and use of less-lethal weapons.
This panel will discuss the legal and policy challenges of the Swiss bills in light of international law.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
In this opening lecture of the academic year, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on international crimes committed in Syria, will share her experience on a career in international law.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2020 edition will have a specific focus on water pollution and scarcity.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.