GBI Workshop on Human Rights and Business Relationships at CSR Asia Summit

A Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) workshop on “Human Rights and Business Relationships Across the Value Chain” attracted around 100 participants at the CSR Asia Summit in Hong Kong on Wednesday 17 September 2014. BASF and Microsoft representatives kicked off this interactive event with presentations before participants explored the theme through case studies.

The workshop focused on how companies can implement respect for human rights across the spectrum of business relationships, with a particular focus on joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. Participants discussed in small groups how companies are: setting and communicating expectations; building capacity with business partners on understanding and managing human rights impacts; and how companies seek to use and build leverage to improve human rights outcomes.

Key presentations were given on:

  • The establishment of Community Advisory Panels in Joint Ventures by Genevieve Hilton, Head of External Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF
  • Respecting the right to privacy of customers and users by Clair Deevy, Citizenship Lead, Asia Pacific, Microsoft
  • Insights from a State of Play Report on the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in Business Relationships by Katryn Wright, Programme Director – Global Business Outreach, GBI.

The workshop then led into small group roundtable discussions on hypothetical case studies regarding joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions, led by Katherine Miles, Programme Director – Member Peer Learning, GBI. Participants explored identifying actual and potential human rights impacts, strategies and approaches to communicating expectations to business partners, and mechanisms to manage human rights impacts throughout the relationship lifecycle.