Business & Human Rights

The ACN supports the adoption and implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles). The Guiding Principles have become the main reference point for all stakeholder groups and propelling and streamlining efforts to address adverse corporate-related human rights impact.

We have as our partners, the Human Rights Resource Centre for ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Business and Rule of Law Programme of the Singapore Management University (SMU) in the effort. Our support towards the work of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) relates to its thematic study on the nexus between CSR and human rights and the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (also called the Working Group on Business and Human Rights) related to its efforts to push for the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) on the UNGPs.

Through a number of advocacy and consultancy activities, we promote common understanding on the nexus between CSR and human rights.

Through our work we have contributed to:

  • The AICHR’s Baseline Study on CSR and human rights with our CEO, Mr. Thomas Thomas, being one of the two primary study team leaders as well as its team providing geographies study of CSR in the ASEAN region. The ACN also supported the AICHR in organising and documenting the Workshop on the Baseline Study held in June 2014 in Singapore.
  • The Consultation on Business and Human Rights and developing National Action Plans (NAP), co-organised by the ACN and the Singapore Management University School of Law to mainstream the Guiding Principles on 4th February 2015. The Consultation was held in conjuction with the ASEAN Next-Gen CSR Forum. The Guiding Principles outline global standards for preventing and addressing business-related human rights harm. A National Action Plan on business and human rights can be the instruments for the strategic roadmap to guide the implementation of the Guiding Principles.
  • We partnered with the UN Working Group on Human Rights (UNWG), the Asian Business and Rule of Law Initiative at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria to develop and recommend implementation guidelines for National Action Plans (NAPs) that would add value to the UNWG’s draft guidance on NAPs. The findings were featured at the 2015 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva (16 – 18 November 2015) where the UNWG unveiled its latest update to a Global Guidance on NAPs.

Going forward, we will continue to work with partners and experts to promote awareness and understanding of the linkages between CSR and human rights, including promoting the adoption of NAPs in ASEAN.