Business and Human Rights Week 2019

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The aim is to continue our commitment to the promotion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The activity has the support of businesses and different key actors involved in fostering prosperity in Guatemala.

The Embassy invited Dr Rajiv Maher British expert and international associate in the extractive and agro industrial sectors in human rights and sustainable development; he has conducted human rights impact assessments with a special focus on security and community engagement for prosperity.

During his visit, Dr Maher delivered a workshop for journalists to improve reporting on business and human rights and discuss the ethics of reporting on large-investment projects, an effort linked to the UK’s commitment on improving Media Freedom. A workshop with young indigenous leaders is to be held jointly with OXFAM, to discuss social licence and the impact of projects in communities. Finally, he will guide a roundtable discussion with private sector to share experiences on human rights by local business.

The main event of the week is a Business and Human Rights Forum, based on the forums held every year in Switzerland. This is a joint initiative by the European Union, Advocacy for Business and Human Rights (ABHR), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the British Embassy. Participants will include: Anabella Sibrián, International Platform against Impunity; Lucrecia Hernández Mack, Congresswoman elect; Jordán Rodas, Human Rights Ombudsman and Connie de Paiz, President of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters.

The panel discussion between civil society, public and private sector is going to be an opportunity to promote a safe space to have a constructive dialogue and compare the challenges that all sectors face when implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The panel will share concerns, risks and possible solutions, and actions to move from a passive State to a preventive and active State.

Barbara Amono-Oceng, Deputy Head of Mission for the British Embassy to Guatemala, said:

We want to foster dialogue spaces in which we can boost the cultural change that allows us to lay the foundation for a sustainable development, equality and respect for human rights.

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