Training for Parliamentarians and Political Party Leaders

Southeast and East Asia

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) and the Asia Center, an independent NGO that promotes human rights, hosted a two-day Business and Human Rights (BHR) training in Bangkok, Thailand. The training aimed at building a regional network that will enable lawmakers and political party representatives to advance the corporate sustainability agenda in line with the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights. The workshop drew on the findings of the 2021 publication on Business and Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Developing National Action Plans, funded by the FNF. Participants included parliamentarians and political party leaders from several countries in Southeast and East Asia.

The UN Guiding Principles framed the responsibilities of governments and the business world as obligations and advocated for National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights. In Southeast Asia, Thailand took the lead by adopting the first NAP, but challenges remain, including public participation and key performance indicators. In other Asian countries that do not yet have NAPs, parliamentarians are not sufficiently involved.

The workshop highlighted the role of parliamentarians and encouraged the sharing of best practices. It also explored BHR in different contexts. Participants called for the creation of a regional parliamentary network on business and human rights in the future. In addition, the workshop provided different perspectives on BHR in relation to urban development and housing, religious freedom, and the role of human rights defenders. It was an excellent opportunity and an enriching experience for participants to engage with regional colleagues. Following the success of the workshop, the majority of the participants called for the establishment of the first Regional Parliamentary Network on Business and Human Rights as a platform to coordinate advocacy messages, engage business stakeholders, raise awareness on BHR, and build capacity.

Ein Angebot der

Business and human rights

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