10 December 2018
Our new publication Gender Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches focuses on the direct responsibilities of business actors to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.
As such, it details corporate human rights obligations to respect the equal rights of men, women and gender non-conforming people within the workplace, but also in relation to the wider economic, social and cultural impact of their activities. It uses examples from global supply chains, land-based agricultural investments and conflict zones to documents existing business practices that affect the realization of gender equality. The publication also provides recommendations as to how companies could engage in human rights due diligence to more effectively prevent, mitigate, account for and remedy gender-related inequalities.
This publication contributes to the United Nations (UN) working group on business and human rights’ consultation process on the incorporation of a gender perspective into the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Several of the main findings were presented during a roundtable on gender responsive human rights due diligence at the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.
Following additional regional and international consultations – including a final meeting organized by the Geneva Academy in January 2019 –, the working group will present its guidance to the Human Rights Council in June 2019.
‘Besides this support to the UN working group, the publication will also be of use to companies, civil society organizations, intergovernmental organizations, governments, National Human Rights Institutions and academics who are interested in ensuring that companies respect and promote gender equality within their activities and areas of influence' underlines Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, former Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and co-author of the publication.
The publication highlights that businesses must go beyond minimum standards to respect human rights standards related to gender equality and also consider ways in which they might use their influence to facilitate gender-related human rights guarantees by identifying, confronting and helping to dismantle structural forms of inequality.
As such, companies should implement gender responsive human rights due diligence (HRDD) processes in order to comply with their obligations to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.
‘HRDD processes necessitate the integration of a gender perspective within all areas of a company’s operations in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy gender-based discrimination and inequalities’ explains Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni.
‘Our publication details the key elements and components of HRDD processes. These range from participatory human rights impact assessments, to the implementation of mitigation measures for gender discrimination, the systematic collection and analysis of disaggregated data, ongoing monitoring and transparent information sharing, as well as the development of accessible and appropriate grievance mechanisms and remedies’ she adds.
The publication shows that in some instances, companies are already participating in initiatives that could lay the foundations for HRDD, and are putting in place policies and procedures that challenge gender discrimination. In certain cases, they are even taking a role in policy advocacy on these issues.
Carina Svenfelt works for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Tbilisi, Georgia, as a Programme Coordinator dealing with missing persons and their families.
Ars Electronica Center
At a multi-stakeholder consultation, business, academia, civil society and state representatives discussed the gaps and ways forward in applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to regulate business conduct in the technology sector.
This conference, organized with the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, will address the adverse implications for the enjoyment of human rights caused by environmental degradation in armed conflicts.
This event will discuss how governments, civil society and international mechanisms can work together to keep the pressure on long-term detention cases and improving respect for defenders’ rights and physical integrity while imprisoned.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
Dustan Woodhouse, Unplash
This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.
This project will facilitate a multistakeholder consultative process to identify knowledge gaps, generate new evidence and co-design evidence-based tools to support regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy