The Syrian Legal Development Programme, represented by Noor Hamadeh and Mouhanad Sharabati, attended the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, which lasted between 26 and 28 November 2018 and was attended by 2,500+ participants from business, civil society, governments and international organizations representing more than 130 countries.
SLDP attended a number of sessions relevant to human rights and business where panellists discussed key current business and human rights issues in addition to trends, challenges and progress in advancing implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. SLDP raised a number of questions regarding business and human rights issues in Syria, including a question on the UN’s current efforts regarding corporate accountability for violations relating to reconstruction, which can be accessed here at the 50 minute mark.
Additionally, SLDP met with representatives from working groups and UN human rights bodies as well as representatives from various states, business associations, international organizations, and civil society organizations working on business and human rights. to discuss similar experience in other states and benefit from recommendations for responding to the human rights impact of reconstruction in Syria.
Topics were rich and ranged from incorporating international law into domestic business regulations to business due diligence in high risk situations. Discussions were highly inclusive and highlighted the importance of incorporating human rights into business policies to ensure that Human Rights violations do not occur.
Participating in this forum was a part of SLDP continuous engagement with various stakeholders around human rights and business issues in the Syria context.