The “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Respect, Protect and Remedy’ Framework” (UNGP-BHR) were endorsed unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011, which is based on three pillars including the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
In response to the call of the UN for the adoption of the UNGP-BHR among its member-countries, the aim of the project is to support the Philippine government in developing its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP-BHR) in cooperation with the government, business sector, and civil society.
Spearheaded by the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) under the Office of the President of the Philippines (OP), the main objectives of this undertaking include: (i) to promote awareness on the UNGP-BHR to the Philippine business community, civil society, and the government; (ii) to provide a platform for key stakeholders to engage in dialogue on business and human rights as well as work together to enhance understanding on how these can be implemented in practical terms; and, (iii) to strengthen engagement towards effective implementation and mainstreaming of the Guiding Principles towards addressing sustainable growth and poverty reduction especially for the vulnerable sectors of Philippine society.
Joint project activities have been conducted in pursuit of developing the NAP-BHR among key stakeholders. Forums and consultative workshops with government, business sector, and civil society were held in cooperation with the OP-PHRC, European Chamber of Commerce to the Philippines (ECCP), Commission on Human rights (CHR), ICCO-Cooperation, and Hanns Seidel Foundation/Germany (HSF), among others. Core group meetings/workshops represented by relevant government line agencies were organized to discuss certain priorities leading to the crafting of a draft administrative order (AO) currently under consideration by the Office of the President. Upon approval, consultative workshops with the business community and civil society organizations (CSOs) shall be organized to discuss the road map for crafting the NAP-BHR.
The project shall endeavor to support the government’s plan to promote the concept of a human rights-compliant business environment that enriches the overall economic development plan (PDP 2017-2022 and “Ambisyon Natin 2040”) as it welcomes new investments to the country, and consistent with its desire to advance a broadened people’s appreciation of human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights.