This posting includes two statements from the recent UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, held in Geneva and sponsored by the new UN Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations.
The first is by the Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industries Network, delivered to a session that was chaired by a representative of the industry body, the ICMM, on how business affects indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, because of the limited nature of input outside of the chosen panel, the statement was not read out, but only submitted as one of the materials at the meeting. It calls for there to be more of a focus on the real experiences of those whose rights have been abused, and particularly that there be implementation of the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) at the community level.
The second statement comes from Professor James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, who was one of the Forum panelists. Prof. Anaya stresses, among other things, that corporate responsibility for respecting human rights “exists independently of States”. He also notes that his studies on the subject will soon be opened up to new input – especially from directly impacted peoples.