Tuesday, November 29 • 10:00am - 11:20am
Asia Pacific: How to protect rights holders - A multi-stakeholder dialogue

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(Version française ci-jointe)
(Versión en español adjunta)

Interpretation available in English, French and Spanish

Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Brief Description of the Session:
 Across the Asia-Pacific region, trends related to business-related human rights abuse are not abating. These include, for instance, attacks against human rights defenders (HRDs), the criminalization of Indigenous communities speaking out against such abuses, as well as the use of strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPPs). In the spirit of the Forum’s theme of ‘putting rights holders at the center’, this hybrid session will explore and unpack the different principles, tools, and strategies that can be leveraged to protect rights holders—whether these be victims or individuals at heightened risk of business-related human rights abuses, workers, or HRDs—and ensure their ability to access effective remedies in the Asia-Pacific. The session is structured as a ‘fireside chat’, where speakers will candidly share their expertise, lived experiences, and lessons learnt in relation to the question of how to protect rights holders. Speakers will also be asked to reflect practically on how action by States, businesses, and rights holders themselves can be galvanised—from the bottom-up and top-down—to safeguard human rights at the local, national and regional levels.   
Key Objectives of the Session:
 This session aims to:  
  • Discuss how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights should be implemented and enforced to protect HRDs, Indigenous peoples, and other rights holders;  
  • Share good-practice cases and practical lessons in relation to how rights holders can be supported to defend against business-related human rights harm, including from SLAPPs, criminalization, and other forms of persecution;  
  • Appraise the opportunities and challenges faced by States, businesses, and civil society in preventing and remedying business-related human rights abuses within the Asia-Pacific region.  

Key Discussion Questions:
  • Who are the rights-holders facing the greatest risk of business-related human rights abuse?   
  • What are the key trends in the persecution of rights-holders in the Asia-Pacific region?  
  • What are the priority action areas in the protection of rights-holders?  
  • In practical terms, which tools or approaches have or have not worked when it comes to safeguarding rights-holders?  

Additional Background or Relevant Links:   

avatar for Pichamon Yeophantong

Pichamon Yeophantong

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Ms. Pichamon Yeophantong is Associate Professor and Head of Research at the Centre for Future Defence and National Security, Deakin University. She also leads the Responsible Business Lab and the Environmental Justice and Human Rights Project, which are funded by an Australian Research... Read More →

avatar for France Castro

France Castro

House Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Philippines
Rep. France Castro of ACT Teachers Party-List is a two-term Member of the House of Representatives and currently serving her third-term.  She was the founding president of ACT NCR Union, the largest union of government employees in the Philippines. She graduated cum laude in 1987... Read More →
avatar for Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur

Business and Human Rights Specialist, UNDP Asia-Pacific
Harpreet Kaur is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, where she oversees a regional project aiming at promoting responsible business practices through partnerships in Asia. She provides technical and advisory support to governments... Read More →
avatar for Chantelle Khan

Chantelle Khan

Executive Director, Social Empowerment and Education Program (SEEP Fiji)
Community Development Practitioner from Fiji working locally with at-risk communities many of whom lack information and awareness on compliance and Right-based approaches including indigenous communities. Interested in learning 'new' ways/methodologies of strategies communities are... Read More →
avatar for Shahida Mariyam Mohamed

Shahida Mariyam Mohamed

Vice President, National Federation of Maldivian Employers
Dr. Mariyam Shahida Mohamed began her career in the field of education and then progressed into Education Leadership and Inclusive Policies for Decent Work. She is passionate about egalitarianism and continues her assertive advocacy in Social Justice globally. Her experience spans... Read More →

Amara Pongsapich

Thailand Representative, ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

Tuesday November 29, 2022 10:00am - 11:20am CET