Business and Human Rights in the Digital Era: An Interactive Discussion on Priorities for Asia-Pacific
17:30 – 19:00 (Bangkok time, GMT+7), 1 June 2021
Organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
While business and human rights (BHR) discourse has been gaining significant traction in Asia-Pacific, awareness and capacity on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in the technology industry is still nascent. However, the accelerating uptake of digital technologies raises a broad range of human rights issues. Indeed, immense challenges arise from adverse human rights impacts stemming from, or being linked to, the conduct of technology companies. In response to these issues and challenges, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched the B-Tech project in 2019, which provides authoritative guidance and resources for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in the technology space. B-Tech has set out its framework on how to apply the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to address the key human rights risks from digital technologies in a series of foundational papers. Only by effectively addressing such risks can we fully reap the benefits, including for human rights, of these technologies. Considering the business-related impact of digital technology on society and human rights, there is an urgent need for mainstreaming this conversation in Asia-Pacific. It is in this context that this session will feature an interactive discussion on priorities for Asia-Pacific during the Next Decade of the UNGPs.
The session will feature expert practitioners representing international organizations, business, civil society and academia to outline some of the most prevalent BHR issues and priorities linked to the ditigal technology space in Asia-Pacific. During the session, participants will receive ample space to engage with the experts, and discuss how to mainstream the conversation across the region and realizing change for rights holders who are the most severely impacted.
This session will:
Identify the most pertinent BHR challenges relating to digital technology in Asia-Pacific;
Outline priorities during the Next Decade of the UNGPs;
Discuss how the conversation on BHR and digital technology can be mainstreamed in Asia-Pacific.