To celebrate 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs together with National Network of the Global Compact and Sakhalin Energy organized on December 20 a Roundtable ‘Russian Business and Human Rights’. It brought together in RSPP representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, International Labour Organization, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, UN Information Center in Moscow, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, directors and managers of Russian companies, business unions and associations, expert community.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become a starting point and a center of the whole system of universal international documents on human rights, adopted under the UN framework, a legal guidance and a standard for regional and international agreements, determining types and content of human rights, and also grievance mechanisms. At least 90 national constitutions, adopted after 1948, contain a list of fundamental rights reflected in the Declaration provisions. Among them is the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
One of the areas in which applying standards on human rights is a key condition is activities of enterprises. The Guiding principles on business and human rights, adopted in 2011 by the UN Council on Human Rights, have become a key document setting the scene on the topic. The major discussion to measure and discuss progress on promoting and integration the Guiding principles into corporate practice in the Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva. The UN calls for governments, private sector and NGOs to work together to achieve the maximum integration of the Guiding principles into practice, including the joint work on discussion the National Action Plans.
RSPP and the UNGC Local Network Russia actively support and distribute in Russia international standards in the area of human rights and wider – in the area of sustainable development. Today respecting the human rights, human’s interests, personal and professional needs are the founding elements of business models, based on principles and values of sustainable development and aimed at achieving the SDGs.
GC Local Network Russia and RSPP consider important to use their platforms to join together the stakeholders and experts in order to form a consolidated position and implement required informational and analytical expert work on further promotion of the Guiding principles on business and human rights and all related directions and aspects of responsible business practice.
Key discussion topics:
1) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meaning and coverage. International context.
2) Main international and Russian standards for business on human rights and labour relations.
3) Results and conclusions of the 7th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva (26-28 November 2018).
4) Expert review on the Guiding principles on business and human rights with regard to Russian legislation as a standard on human rights for
business. Integration into Russian practice.
5) Main directions and expects of business activities in the human rights aspect (environmental, social, labour etc., indigenous people, etc.)
6) State judicial/non-judicial and non-state mechanisms of protecting human rights in business, grievance procedures.
7) Practical experience of Russian business leaders on integration into corporate practice of responsible practices with regards to respecting human rights: social and labour, vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, etc.
8) Discussing challenges, trends, problems and prospects of business and human rights and involving Russian business into further promotion and integration of the Guiding principles.
Stages and nearest prospects:
2015. Topic discussion initiated / Working group at the base of the UNGC Local Network formed (ASI, RSPP, UNGC)
2016. Setting working contacts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Business Council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2017. Expert review on the Guiding principles on business and human rights with regard to Russian legislation as a standard on human rights for
business. // First programme of the Russian business at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva
2018. Expert discussion of promoting the GP in Russia / Forming summarized suggestions for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the UNGC Local Network expert group
2019. Researching the level of understanding and integrating the GP into business models of Russian companies / Forming a report on integration in the business practice of key provisions and values of the GP / Business Council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Approval of a collective action plan in the context of the SDGs
2020. Enforcement of a collective action plan in the context of the SDGs