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Challenges of the State Duty to Protect - Panel Discussion, Forum on Business and Human Rights 2012
5 Dec 2012 -  Summary
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights define the responsibility of businesses to respect human rights based on their impacts, activities and relationships. The Guiding Principles clarify that to ensure this respect requires due diligence. The Guiding Principles also reaffirm the Sstate duty to protect human rights through policies, legislation, regulation and adjudication.

Due diligence is a concept and a practice that has its origins in the domestic laws of a variety of countries around the world. Yet, human rights due diligence has to date been defined only in international instruments. It remains unclear precisely how Governments might most effectively require or otherwise use regulatory tools and other policy options to encourage human rights due diligence as a method through which business can help to ensure its respect for human rights.

This session brings together a panel of speakers from different parts of the world and different legal traditions to examine how existing Government regulation and policies create obligations or incentives for due diligence by business to respect human rights - and to identify any good practice or opportunities for overcoming challenges in this regard. Speakers will address relevant regulation from areas dealing with human rights issues (e.g. labour rights or working conditions) or areas analogous to human rights concerns (e.g. environmental impacts, or anticorruption).

Mr. Mark Taylor – Senior Researcher, FAFO
Mr. Richard Howitt – Member of Parliament, European Parliament, CSR Committee
Mr. Liang Xiaohui – Chief Researcher, China National Textile and Apparel Council and Lecturer in Business and Human Rights at Peking University
Prof. Anita Ramasastry – Professor, University of Washington School of Law
Mr. Gilbert Maoundonodji – Expert Member, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Working Group on the Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations