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Beyond Voluntary Measures - Forum on Business and Human Rights 2019
25 Nov 2019 -  Beyond voluntary: mandatory measures for meeting the State duty to protect
Focus and objectives:
A growing number of states, particularly in Europe, are actively considering mandatory measures to advance business respect for human rights. In France, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, the UK, Australia, Norway and Switzerland for example, we see governments adopting or exploring mandatory measures as part of a “smart mix” of policy tools to incentivise business respect for human rights. In a growing number of cases, these measures go beyond reporting obligations to encompass comprehensive human rights due diligence, and they are receiving support from an increasingly diverse cross-section of businesses and investors, as well as from civil society.

This session will explore senior government, business and civil society perspectives on creating space for constructive debate on the role and effectiveness of mandatory measures. The session will also look at how these national developments and discussions in Europe connect to the EU level through the role of the Finnish (2019) and German (2020) Presidencies of the Council of the EU.

The format will be a facilitated conversation among panellists with the following objectives:
• Objective 1: Hear from senior government representatives about opportunities and challenges in exploring and/or adopting mandatory measures as part of a “smart mix” of measures
• Objective 2: Connect national level discussions within EU Member States to EU-level debates on mandatory measures, including mandatory human rights due diligence
• Objective 3: Gain insights from senior business and civil society representatives about what constructive engagement by business in these discussions can look like

Rachel Davis - Vice President, Shift

• Jaren Dunning - Director of Human Rights, PepsiCo
• Phil Bloomer - Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
• Johanna Sumuvuori - Vice-Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
• Michaela Spaeth - Director for Energy and Climate Policy, Business and Human Rights, International Employee Rights and Employee Issues, German Foreign Ministry
• Heidi Hautala - Vice President, European Parliament
• Alice Navarro - Legal Counsel, French Treasury

(Forum on Business and Human Rights)