In celebration of International Human Rights Day, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, in partnership with the University of Asia and the Pacific School of Social Sciences, Law, and Governance, will hold a seminar on “Business and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities,” on December 12 at the PLDT Lecture Hall in UA&P, Pasig City.
Since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, nations around the globe, including the Philippines, continue to mark December 10, as Human Rights Day.
This year, the EU Delegation in the Philippines will shine the spotlight on human rights in corporate sector, highlighting the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the Philippine context.
”Sometimes we hear that human rights advocacy would stand in the way of trade and investment. Nothing could be more wrong. I have met many investors who confided that poor governance and sub-par access to justice, a context in which individual and collective rights are ignored or insufficiently protected, is one the most powerful business inhibitor”, said H.E. Luc Véron, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines. “In other words, human rights is good for business”.
In our age of transparency and people power, there is clear reputational benefit for companies who abide by high international human rights and environmental standards. For most companies, if not all, brand value is amongst their most important assets, and human rights violations could strongly damage that value, he added.
Key representatives and leaders from the government, the business sector, trade unions, civil society, and the academe, have been invited as speakers and reactors.
The seminar will also include a discussion on the government and business sector’s compliance with international standards on human rights in the workplace, focusing on the three main areas outlined in the Guiding Principles – the State duty to protect, the corporate responsibility to respect, and access to remedy.
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