Human Rights Council renews mandate of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Paris, 27th June 2014  : After adopting a significant resolution towards binding standards on business and human rights yesterday (see press release), this morning the Human Rights Council adopted a second resolution extending the mandate of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG).

Adopted by consensus, this resolution highlights the necessity to continue implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and renews the mandate of the UNWG, which it encourages to keep supporting States in implementing National Action Plans for the implementation of the UNGPs.

FIDH salutes the adoption of this resolution and calls on States to adopt robust and forward-looking National Action Plans on the implementation of the UNGPs, including policy and legislative measures to ensure States uphold their extraterritorial human rights obligations, monitoring and review mechanisms and measures to ensure access to remedy for victims. In this regard, FIDH welcomes the emphasis of the resolution on the importance for the UNWG to pursue its efforts to provide guidance for the development and implementation of national action plans, including on access to judicial and non-judicial remedy.

FIDH will continue to engage with the UNWG and calls on the latter to take a proactive stance on the interpretation of its mandate, to respond to communications submitted by rights-holders or civil society organisations and to formulate recommendations to businesses and States, including home States.

FIDH welcomes the adoption of these complementary and mutually reinforcing resolutions on business and human rights at the 26th session of the HRC. While the resolution adopted today recognises the role played by civil society, FIDH regrets however that neither resolutions refer to the NGO call to pay urgent attention to increased risks faced by human rights defenders denouncing corporate abuse, and particularly land and environmental defenders who have been the targets of growing criminalisation and repression. FIDH calls on States to pay attention to the urgent situation of defenders, as recognized by the UNWG in its latest report submitted to the HRC.

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