Human Rights Defenders and Business at the center of the UN : side-events in Geneva and New York

On the same day, Wednesday, the 25 of October 2017, two side-events dedicated on business and human rights defenders will take place at the United Nations, both in Geneva and in New-York.

The issue of human rights defenders working on business and human rights is indeed a prominent and crucial topic. Human rights defenders play a critical role in a democratic society by ensuring corporate respect and accountability for human rights. Yet, they are facing increasing attacks from States and business actors.

- The side-event in New York, "Human rights defenders & business : Respecting, protecting and supporting defenders & their works" takes place in the context of the presentation of the new report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst to the UN General Assembly.

The side event, organised by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and Amnesty International, will allow the audience to hear from a range of stakeholders, engage with the topic and the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur, and discuss steps towards their implementation. Download a flyer here.

- The side-event in Geneva, " The cost of impunity : The cross-regional fight of affected communities and human rights defenders for effective remedies " takes place during the third session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG), from 23 to 27 October 2017 in Geneva, where negotiations have started on a potential future treaty that will bind all transnational corporations to respect human rights.

The side event, organized by FIDH and ESCR-Net, will bring experiences of human rights defenders from different regions in order to demonstrate the need for specific language in the international instrument that could address the risks and challenges faced by defenders on the ground. Download a flyer here!

FIDH is calling all its partners to be vocal on social media (#HRDefenders) to raise the awareness and convince States that the protection of human rights defenders in the area of business activities is a critical issue that need States actions at the international and national level.

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