Business and Human Rights: Finding Sustainable Models

Panel discussion

 

Concept of the Panel discussion on Business and Human Rights

during the V Kharkiv International Legal Forum 

 

21st of September, 2021

 

Supported by:

Coordinator of the OSCE projects in Ukraine

Since the I-st Panel Discussion on Business and Human Rights during the Kharkiv International Legal Forum in 2017, Ukraine has seen significant positive changes in the implementation of human rights and business standards:

  • the National Strategy for Human Rights includes Chapter 16 on Business and Human Rights (approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine of March 24, 2021);
  • the Action plan to implement the Concept of implementation of state policy on promoting social responsible business in Ukraine for the period up to 2030 (approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from July 1, 2020 № 853-r) includes the promotion of principles and standards of social responsible business in Ukraine in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact, as well as the positive experience and practice of business entities in socially responsible business;
  • since 2019 implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is one of the strategic activities of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights (Ukrainian Ombudsperson);
  • The Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine participated with reports at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum (November 2020), emphasizing Ukraine’s commitment to implementing standards of responsible business conduct.

 

There are many other testimonies that business and human rights issues are attracting attention from both the state and non-state actors – academia and human rights defenders, civil society organizations, business and business associations, and so on.

However, the main barrier to real change remains the lack of a coherent government policy and systematic steps to raise public and business awareness of its impact on human rights, and the low level of involvement of CSOs in business and human rights initiatives.

The importance of these issues is enhanced by the significant intensification of efforts to strengthen standards of responsible business conduct and tools to ensure their effective implementation in the European Union and in the world as a whole:

  • On March 10, 2021, the European Parliament supported the proposal for adoption “EU Directive on Mandatory Human Rights, Environmental and Good Governance Due Diligence”;
  • 28 countries already have National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights;
  • The six rounds of discussions was held on the draft International Legally Obligatory Treaty on Business and Human Rights;
  • more and more European countries are adopting domestic legislation aimed at establishing mandatory tools for business to assess their impact on human rights (France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway);
  • national courts are increasingly turning to standards of responsible business conduct, assessing the business impact on human rights, including in their supply chains, as well as human rights violations committed in other countries;
  • Investors’ tools to assess possible risks of negative business impact on human rights are being developed, and the ESG strategies (ecology, social issues, governance) are being actively developed.

 

The panel discussion on business and human rights is aimed to identify priority areas for implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and actions should be taken at the national level, key stakeholders to be involved in and best practical tools.

The program of the Panel Discussion covers two thematic sessions:

 

Session І. Business and Human Rights: key trends 

  • Obligations instead of recommendations, responsibilities instead of condemnation
  • Not individual tools, but a holistic corporate culture to respect for human rights
  • The growing role of non-state actors and increasing criticism of the passive position of state actors
  • Multiplicity of approaches (BHR,  SDG, ESG, CSR) and the need to harmonize for increasing efficiency
  • Benefits and challenges for large companies and for SMEs
  • Digitalization as new human rights risk and new opportunities for responsible business conduct

 

Session ІІ. Towards to Sustainable Business Models based on Respect Human Rights: Actors and Approaches

          State Actors

  • National action plans: tasks and responsible actors
  • National Institutions on Human Rights (Ombudspersons)
  • State-Owned Enterprises
  • State-Business Nexus

          Non-State Actors

  • The investors’ leverage
  • Business associations, OECD national contact points, CSOs and ways of cooperation
  • Universities’ practices on BHR teaching, PhD programs and areas of research
  • Recourses hubs, Guidelines and tools developed by expert organizations

 

The Program of the events could be downloaded 

21 september 2021
9.00
10-th floor, Library & Learning Center of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University
Registration of participants for the event in Zoom format
free

Speakers

Liudmyla Denisova

Ombudsman of Ukraine. Ms. Liudmyla Denisova was born on July 06, 1960 in Arkhangelsk city. In 1989, she graduated from the St. Petersburg State University with a degree in Law; lately she studied economics (accounting and audit) at the Tauride Institute of Entrepreneurship and Law. From 1998 to 2001 she was appointed Minister of Economy […]

Valeria Kolomiets

Deputy Minister of Justice for European Integration. Ms. Kolomiets has extensive experience in legal practice. From 2009 to 2012, she worked as an assistant lawyer at the Vinnytsia Regional Bar Association. In 2012-2015 she provided legal assistance in the organizational and legal form of the Law Office of Valeria Kolomiets. From 2015 to 2016, she […]

Olena Stepanenko

Representative of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights on Socio-Economic Rights.

Maryna Kupchuk

Deputy Head of the International Investment Cooperation Division of the Investment Department of the Ministry of Economy, Secretary of the OECD National Contact Point.

Kateryna Levchenko

Governmental Commissioner for Gender Policy. PhD, Professor. For more than 20 years Kateryna has been the head of the NGO «La Strada-Ukraine». Deputy of Ukrainian Parliament of the 5th convocation, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE (2006-2007). Author and initiator of improvement laws on prevention of domestic violence, strengthening of protection children, introduction […]

Tara Van Ho

Lecturer in the University of Essex School of Law and Human Rights Centre, where she currently serves as the Director of the post-graduate taught programmes in human rights. A core member of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project, her research primarily focuses on issues of business and human rights in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict […]

Dirk Hoffmann

Senior Adviser, Danish Institute for Human Rights. With a background in international human rights and specifically international labour law, Dirk Hoffmann has spent almost a decade working in the field of business and human rights. Having spent the majority of that time at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) – Denmark’s National Human Rights […]

Nadia Bernaz

Nadia Bernaz is Associate Professor in the LAW group at Wageningen University (WUR, the Netherlands). She was previously a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University (London, UK), and before that a lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland (Galway, Ireland). She holds a PhD in international law from Aix-Marseille University (France). […]

Claire Bright

Dr. Claire Bright is an Associate Research Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, as well as an Assistant Professor in Private Law at Nova Law School in Lisbon. She specialises in Business and Human Rights. Claire regularly organizes events and delivers short courses and trainings in the field. Her work to […]

Elżbieta Karska

Member of the UN Working group on Business and Human Rights. Ms. Karska is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Protection of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Director of the Institute of International Law, European Union and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Administration, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński […]

Danielle Anne Pamplona

Full Professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Parana (PUCPR) – Brazil; Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Post-Doctoral Studies at American University, Washington-DC; Doctor of Law at Federal University of Santa Catarina – Brazil; Director of the Human Rights Clinic at PUCPR; Vice-Director of the Latin American […]

Ashley Nancy Reynolds

Business and Human Rights Resource Center.

Beata Faracik

Internationally recognized Human Rights & Business expert/lawyer with almost 20 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise cover Human Rights, Human Rights & Business (BHR), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), International Public Law, EU internal & external policies, enabling and protecting civil society/HRDs. She holds MA in Law, LL.M. in Human Rights and Intellectual Property […]

Jernej Letnar Černič

Faculty of Government and European Studies, Nova Univerza, Slovenia.

Olena Uvarova

PhD in Law, lecturer in the Theory of Law Department, Head of the International Lab on business and human rights in the Yaroslav Mudriy National Law University,  Head of the Research and Projects Support Center in the Yaroslav Mudriy National Law University. Dr. Uvarova is the author of more than 80 scientific papers on the […]

Aleh Gulak

Head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Belarus.

Ekaterina Deikalo

PhD, Associate Professor, expert on business and human rights in Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Belarus.

Ella Skybenko

Eastern Europe/Central Asia Researcher & Representative, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Ella, a Ukrainian national, joined the Resource Centre in 2008.  She is responsible for research and outreach in Eastern Europe & Central Asia, and has conducted regional missions to the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia.  Ella formerly worked […]

Bohdan Karnaukh

PhD in Law, associate professor at the Department of Civil Law No.1, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, co-director of Joint Master Degree Program “European and International Business Law”. Author of more than 80 scientific publications, amongst which monographs, commentaries to the Civil Code of Ukraine and articles in Ukrainian and foreign law journals. Area of […]

Ihor Konopka

Human rights lawyer. Mr. Konopka is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (2014, law) and the Faculty of Law of Lund University (2021, international human rights law). In 2021, he also completed an internship in the Department of Human Rights and Business of the Danish Institute […]

Maryna Saprykina

Head of the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility Development.

Maxime Belingheri

Human Rights Manager, L’OREAL (France).

Iryna Kostiuk

Leading CSR and Regulatory Affairs Fahivchina, Carlsberg Ukraine.

Olha Boiko

Coordinator of the Environment and Sustainability Committee of the European Business Association. She has practical experience in creating a barrier-free business environment: in 2016-2019 she managed projects in the field of inclusion and diversity in Auchan Ukraine. From 2020, it continues to promote a culture of diversity by establishing a dialogue between government and business […]

Larysa Zhygun

Government Relations Manager, UNIC. Larysa has 8 years of GR experience as an Advisor for Children’s Rights and Advocacy at the SOS Children’s Towns Ukraine Charitable Foundation Ukraine and an advocacy campaign coordinator at the Ukrainian Forum of Philanthropists, and extensive experience working with public authorities. Among her main achievements, Larysa includes: coordination of development […]

Nina Reshetar

Assistant for Rule of Law and Human Rights Projects, OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

Alevtyna Sanchenko

Head of the Center for Advanced Studies and Cooperation on Human Rights in Economics at the V. K. Mamutov Institute for Economic and Legal Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Daria Nagaivska

PhD, expert of the Corporate Equality Index, project manager in the NGO “Actual Woman”, co-founder of “Business and Human Rights” Club. Daria supports development of women entrepreneurship and collaborates with small and medium Ukrainian enterprises in marketing strategy’s development, business-planning and entering foreign markets. She coordinates work of the Center of small and medium enterprises […]

Nicolaj Sonderbye

Nicolaj is a senior advisor on Democracy and Human Rights for UNDP Country Office in Ukraine. He is human rights lawyer and a development practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in human rights, democracy and governance at implementation, policy and management level. Nicolaj specialises in human rights and Human Rights Based Approaches (HRBA) […]

Ron Popper

Ron Popper, who is CEO of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) has been working with companies worldwide for nearly 20 years on the business and human rights agenda. He has a deep, practical understanding of the challenges faced by companies in different sectors in different parts of the world. He comes from […]

Artem Donets

Artem Donets is a lawyer, managing partner of Donets & Partners, a certified lawyer-trainer of NAAU for work with clients, trainer of the BPD system of the Ministry of Justice for criminal law and procedure. He specializes in defense in criminal proceedings for official crimes, white-collar crime and business protection. He has extensive experience in […]

Siniša Milatović

Siniša Milatović is an expert on business and human rights, and is currently serving as a Business and Human Rights Specialist with UNDP. He is responsible for developing global programming and providing expertise on business and human rights to colleagues and partners in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Before […]

moderators

Olena Uvarova

PhD in Law, lecturer in the Theory of Law Department, Head of the International Lab on business and human rights in the Yaroslav Mudriy National Law University,  Head of the Research and Projects Support Center in the Yaroslav Mudriy National Law University. Dr. Uvarova is the author of more than 80 scientific papers on the […]

Olena Mytnyk

Ph.D. researcher, human rights and sustainable development expert, project manager at NGO GOLOCAL. For more than five years, worked at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (head of the human rights, legal awareness expert group, reform specialist, governmental expert on human rights). Coordinated the process of preparation of the National Human Rights Strategy in Ukraine. […]

Nataliia Stupnytska

National Program Manager for Rule of Law and Human Rights of Coordinator of the OSCE projects in Ukraine.

Ihor Konopka

Human rights lawyer. Mr. Konopka is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (2014, law) and the Faculty of Law of Lund University (2021, international human rights law). In 2021, he also completed an internship in the Department of Human Rights and Business of the Danish Institute […]

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    Co-Chairman of Organizing Committee
    Rector of Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University
    Anatoly Hetman