Since 2017, representatives from governments, NHRIs, CSOs, and business have convened as part of an annual regional forum on business and human rights in Asia. This annual regional platform has proven instrumental in building momentum in Asia and fostering a race-to-the-top for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other international standards such as the ILO Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).
As a vital platform for the sharing of best practices from within Asian countries and beyond, the platform has enabled meaningful South-South exchange, and facilitated constructive dialogue and peer-learning among international organizations, ministerial-level officials, corporate executives, and civil society actors.
In 2019, the regional forum was expanded to the UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum.
2021 UNRBHR FORUM: The New Decade of Action?
Last year, the Forum focused on the progress made over the past 10 years since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011. Discussions highlighted the need for a collective commitment to meet the challenges the region faces in realizing vital economic, environmental and social justice goals, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to exacerbate many of these challenges.
2020 UNRBHR FORUM: New Challenges. New Approaches
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of highly connected global supply chains and intensified challenges for already vulnerable populations. In this context, the virtual Forum brought together governments, businesses, civil society actors and others to explore ways to collaborate on post-COVID-19 recovery, building back stronger, more sustainable, more resilient and with a focus on responsible business practices.
2019 UNRBHR FORUM
The first UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum took place in the framework of the Bangkok Business and Human Rights Week. As one of the largest events in Asia on responsible business conduct that year, it brought together over 700 participants from 42 countries to discuss a wide variety of priority topics, such as food and agriculture, electronics, project finance and infrastructure, migrant workers, climate change, gender issues in global supply chains, decent work, and trade and investment agreements.