Blueprint for action on business and human rights

Leading Australian NGOs have provided the Government with a blueprint for action on business and human rights. A joint statement released today by the Australian Human Rights Commission sets out a suite of recommendations for Australia’s implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The joint statement follows a day of discussion between experts from NGOs and academia about how Australia can better protect against corporate-related human rights abuses and ensure that victims are able to access effective remedies.

Civil society is calling on the Australian Government to develop a plan with concrete, forward-looking actions. Importantly, the Government needs lead by example by ensuring that businesses that are State-owned, controlled or supported, and businesses that the Government transacts with, comply with their responsibility to respect human rights. The Statement also makes recommendations in relation to Australia’s trade and investment agreements, aid policy and judicial and non-judicial grievance mechanisms.

The statement, supported by groups including the Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International Australia, Oxfam Australia and the Uniting Church of Australia, should inform the Government’s ongoing consultation on the implementation of the Guiding Principles with a view to establishing Australia as a global leader in corporate compliance with human rights standards.