Program Outline

During the last two decades, the issue of business and human rights has gained significant importance. Since the initiation of the United Nations Global Compact with the objective to “give a human face to the global market”, a number of significant developments have taken place in this regard, including the endorsement of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council, EU Parliament’s increased interest in human rights due diligence legislation, adoption of relevant standards and regulations by a number of States on a national level, development of important case law addressing human rights violations by businesses, etc. 

Despite the above-mentioned steps forward, many challenges and obstacles still exist. Although businesses can bring important benefits to the society, such as employment or technological advances, their actions can also have serious adverse effects on human rights and the environment. Therefore, the issue of the respect of human rights by businesses and their accountability has been a topic of debate in recent years. It is of no doubt that legal professionals – as human rights actors – can play a significant role in upholding the respect of human rights by the companies. If business and human rights actors understood better how they could support each other, positive developments in this area would be more feasible. 

Therefore, the conference will serve as a valuable platform to promote the issue of business and human rights among legal professionals and to raise their knowledge in the field. The conference will include around 150 lawyers from different countries and will be divided into several sessions:

  • The first session will be dedicated to the international and regional framework at the intersection of business activities and human rights. This includes examining established standards and mechanisms in place to ensure businesses uphold and respect human rights in their practices.
  • The second panel will be dedicated to the examination of three pillars outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These pillars will be divided into three separate sessions, each focusing on a distinct aspect: the right to protect, the right to respect, and the right to remedy.
  • The third session will be focused on the topic of environmental law, encompassing discussions about recent developments in environmental case law and an examination of the legal challenges frequently encountered in environmental litigation. 
  • The fourth session will be dedicated to labor rights, specifically in relation to the intersection of business and human rights. It will encompass a comprehensive review of both international standards and the challenges that labor rights face in this context.

The Conference program includes an reception/gala dinner for the program participants in order to build friendships and professional connections in a more informal environment.

Detailed program and agenda will be shared with participants shortly after the registration. 

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