Wednesday, 12.10.2022 - Geneva, Switzerland and Online

International Conference on Business and Human Rights: From National Practice to International Binding Standards

States bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights also in the context of business enterprises’ activities as provided by a series of international human rights treaties and reaffirmed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Photo: FES

In application of those obligations, several countries as well as regional organizations such as the European Union have stepped up their regulatory activity in different shapes and content, including legislation, to require from business enterprises behavior that is human rights, socially and environmentally responsible.

At the same time it is becoming clearer that national or regional initiatives need corresponding international legal and policy frameworks to be fully effective. Such as discussed by States since 2014 in the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on a legally binding instrument to regulate business activities under human rights (with its next session taking place end of October 2022). In parallel there have been discussions going on at the ILO about the pertinence and need of normative action by the organization in relation to decent work in businesses’ global supply chains. These developments have engendered a growing interest among the most industrialized economies for global binding standards in this field. A recent meeting of labor ministries of the G7 made a call for joint work towards those global standards.

In this context, this conference organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) brought together national and international leaders and practitioners to share the developments and evidence from national practice and discuss ways in which international binding standards can draw from that practice as well as provide a key impetus for the effective development and operation of other national initiatives across the globe.


Geneva Office

6 bis, Chemin du Point-du-Jour
1202 Geneva

+41 (0)22 733 34 50
+41 (0)22 733 35 45