Coordinating Canadian Efforts to Protect and Respect Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – the “GPs” – enjoy widespread support from NGOs, companies and governments and provide a clear framework for improving countries’ protection of human rights, companies’ management of human rights impacts, and the provision of access to remedy for those affected. What is currently missing is a coordinated approach to ensure Canadian actors promote and implement the GPs through their work.

Stratos presented at the multi-stakeholder conference “Where to from Here: A Canadian Strategy for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” on May 8, 2014. Leading up to the conference, we discussed some of the opportunities and constraints for supporting the GPs with several of our colleagues in business, government and civil society. Our goal was to understand and build from the wide range of related initiatives currently underway while encouraging more systematic implementation and promotion of the GPs.
Our presentation, A Collaborative Approach to Strategy Development and Implementation, focused on the process that could be used to develop a Canadian implementation strategy. In our view, the purpose of such a strategy should be to increase awareness, understanding, implementation and assurance of the GPs to achieve tangible results for affected individuals and communities.

Stratos made five recommendations on how to structure and approach strategy development:

1. Conduct an institutional analysis to map out the stakeholders and reflect existing relationships and dynamics.

2. Establish a Canadian “Guiding Principles Steering Committee” with representation from each of the priority stakeholder categories

3. Confirm the key elements (or roles) required to successfully support implementation of the Guiding Principles

4. For each identified priority institutional stakeholder (or stakeholder category), determine the roles they are best positioned to fill (either to lead or support).

5. Develop an Implementation Action Plan and oversee and publicly report on implementation status.

 

We look forward to being an active participant in further multi-stakeholder discussions to advance implementation of the Guiding Principles.

Presentations from the conference can be found here: http://www.ryerson.ca/csrinstitute/business-humanrights/