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Panel on Leading by example? - Forum on Business and Human Rights 2018
28 Nov 2018 -  Leading by example? State-owned enterprises’ performance on human rights due diligence
Brief description of the session:
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are an enduring and significant feature of the global economy. They can have major environmental, social and human rights impacts. While some SOEs lead on corporate social responsibility and human rights, others lag behind and are involved in business-related human rights abuse. This is the finding of a 2016 report by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights that addressed the role and responsibility of SOEs to embed respect for human rights in their own activities and business relationships. It was reiterated in the Working Group’s 2018 report on the state of play of corporate human rights due diligence in all sectors worldwide. The overall picture is that Governments are not leading by example in their own roles as economic actors. This limits their capacity to push business enterprises to put human rights due diligence into practice. At the same time, some good practice examples exist. In its report on SOEs highlighted the good practices of some Governments and SOEs and called on SOEs to lead by example.

Objectives of the session:
Building on the Working Group’s SOE report, a similar session held at the 2016 Forum, and the report on due diligence in practice, this session will:
• take stock of how SOEs worldwide are currently performing in terms of implementing their responsibilities as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights
• highlight the experiences from different regions in making human rights due diligence part of SOE practice
• discuss how to build on the emerging good practices.

Key discussion questions:
Speakers from SOEs, Governments and other stakeholders will offer their perspective on the following questions:
• What are the lessons learned by SOEs to date in terms of making human rights due diligence part of standard practice?
• Is it possible to identify success factors for SOEs that have taken steps toward human rights due diligence and what can other SOEs and the governments that own and control them learn from emerging good practice examples?
• What kind of policies, models and tools are available specifically to ensure that SOEs are role models on corporate social responsibility and human rights?
• What needs to happen, and what concrete steps should be taken, for the field to move forward, and States and SOEs to truly lead by example.
Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
•Dante Pesce, Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
SPEAKERS:
•Tyler Gillard, Head of Sector Projects and Legal Adviser in the Responsible Business Conduct Unit of the OECD’s Investment Division, OECD
•Mónica Jiménez González, Secretary General, Ecopetrol S.A.
•Malin Helgesen, Legal Counsel Human Rights, Equinor ASA
•Seong-Hoon Lee, Executive Director, Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF)
•Josefine Ekros Roth

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