Private sector must adhere to human rights principles

16th November 2015
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As the fourth UN Business and Human Rights Forum starts today in Geneva, Switzerland, faith based organisations from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America have called for more robust standards to hold businesses accountable to human rights.In a public event held at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva organised by ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation, representatives from communities across the world shared real-life cases in which multi-national corporations have violated basic human rights obligations.

“There is increasing evidence that some private sector entities, particularly the extractive industries and multi-national corporations, have violated numerous human rights of people and communities in their business ventures,” said Sarah Kambarami, ACT Alliance Head of Programmes, who gave the opening speech. “Therefore, it is critically important that the UN guiding principles on human rights are implemented at all levels to enable companies to be accountable. The UN guiding principles on business and human rights play an important role in contributing to an increased focus on human rights in relation to businesses.”

ACT Alliance and other faith based organisations particularly in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia, have played a significant role in recent years in raising awareness of human rights violations by transnational corporations, particularly in the areas of extraction and land grabbing.

ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation have brought together a delegation to this year’s UN Business and Human Rights Forum, who will highlight the real human rights violations from their communities around the world and the specific role that faith leaders and communities are playing in fighting to maintain their human rights.

Photos of the public event HERE