The Global Compact Network Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission convened the third Australian Dialogue on Business and Human Rights on 28 October 2016 – Australia’s annual multi-sector, multi-stakeholder forum aimed at driving the business and human rights agenda forward.
Momentum and action from all stakeholder groups in relation to business and human rights continues to build within Australia and internationally. Businesses face continuing significant human rights risks and opportunities, coupled with growing stakeholder expectations in terms of human rights policy commitments, due diligence and transparency. This year the Australian Government has highlighted its interest in this space as well through announcing national consultations on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles).
This Dialogue, for the third time, brought Australian business, government, civil society, investors and academia together to share knowledge, explore continuing challenges and encourage collaborations to support continued implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.
The Dialogue is Australia’s foremost event to network, share experiences and build capacity around business respect for human rights and the UN Guiding Principles. Since the first Dialogue in 2014, this event has consistently achieved substantial engagement from all stakeholder groups, and is Australia’s only such forum that brings together representatives from all sectors to collectively drive the business and human rights agenda forward.
This year’s Dialogue focused on stakeholder engagement, which is fundamental to effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. The Dialogue:
- Explored how Australian business leaders are approaching human rights-related risks and opportunities;
- Informed participants on current practices and future trends in preventing and addressing adverse business-related human rights impacts and support positive impacts with a focus practical real life examples;
- Identified challenges around business engagement with other stakeholders regarding human rights issues and discussed ways to improve engagement;
- Provided an opportunity for deeper thinking about particular thematic areas of interest including supply chains, human rights impact assessment and access to remedy; and
- Built peer and multi-stakeholder networks around business and human rights.
To encourage open discussion, the Dialogue was held in accordance with the Chatham House rule.
Additional information on the 2014 and 2015 Dialogues, and outcome documents, are available here.
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