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UNDP promotes responsible business by strengthening human rights standards across 17 countries, with support from Japan

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  UNDP will work to improve human rights standards in business in 17 countries through a new project funded by the Government of Japan By promoting the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights the initiative will better equip governments and businesses to understand and act on their duties and responsibilities to prevent abuses such as forced labour land grabbing and discrimination The project will have two main purposes First it will guide companies to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence HRDD to assess prevent and mitigate adverse impacts To achieve this UNDP will support Japanese companies and their suppliers in managing the human rights risks potentially associated with their operations Companies will also benefit from this process as companies that demonstrate clean operations have clear advantages in bringing their products to market The second goal of the project is to help the 17 target countries develop policies to address business related human rights abuses UNDP will work with governments to create a level playing field that encourages more companies to adopt responsible business practices The project will be implemented by UNDP country offices in Ghana Indonesia Kazakhstan Kenya Kyrgyzstan Lao People s Democratic Republic Mexico Mongolia Mozambique Nepal Pakistan Peru Thailand Tunisia Turkey Ukraine Vietnam In Japan training and guidance will also be provided to Japanese companies With this project UNDP and Japan will promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs and the 2030 Agenda UNDP s vast experience in implementing its Business and Human Rights initiative and promoting HRDD has shown that business of all sizes can be agents of positive change As the development actor with the largest dedicated field presence in this thematic area UNDP has helped companies address social justice issues both within their operations and in promoting broader changes in policy and regulation Businesses have a role to play in achieving the SDGs and achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement said Asako Okai UNDP Under Secretary General Deputy Administrator and Director of the UNDP Crisis Office With this new project UNDP and the Government of Japan come together to support companies in their efforts to meet human rights standards and advocate with governments for better policies and legislation to protect rights and encourage responsible business In our current context they also have the potential to become engines of a just recovery from COVID 19 even in fragile and crisis affected contexts To better move forward we need concerted and urgent action said ASG Okai The project will be implemented through the UNDP Global Program for the Rule of Law Human Rights Justice and Security for Sustainable Peace and Development the Global Program in coordination with partners active in the field of responsible business such as the UN Human Rights Office OHCHR International Labor Organization ILO and Organization for Economic Co operation and Development OECD This new initiative complements UNDP s ongoing work on Business and Human Rights Since 2016 UNDP has supported the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights UNGP with a focus on Asia and the Pacific and with the support of the Government of Sweden and the European Union In 2020 this regional program expanded its operations Currently 26 UNDP country offices in five regions are working with governments businesses and civil society organizations with support from the EU Japan and Sweden among others UNDP provides technical assistance for the development and implementation of National Action Plans on business and human rights advises companies on conducting human rights due diligence processes and promotes access to remedies for victims of abuses against human rights by companies
UNDP promotes responsible business by strengthening human rights standards across 17 countries, with support from Japan

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Guiding Principles

UNDP will work to improve human rights standards in business in 17 countries through a new project funded by the Government of Japan. By promoting the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the initiative will better equip governments and businesses to understand and act on their duties and responsibilities to prevent abuses such as forced labour, land grabbing and discrimination.

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Human Rights Due Diligence

The project will have two main purposes. First, it will guide companies to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) to assess, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts. To achieve this, UNDP will support Japanese companies and their suppliers in managing the human rights risks potentially associated with their operations. Companies will also benefit from this process, as companies that demonstrate clean operations have clear advantages in bringing their products to market.

Lao People

The second goal of the project is to help the 17 target countries develop policies to address business-related human rights abuses. UNDP will work with governments to create a level playing field that encourages more companies to adopt responsible business practices. The project will be implemented by UNDP country offices in Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam. In Japan, training and guidance will also be provided to Japanese companies.

UNDP and Japan

With this project, UNDP and Japan will promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. UNDP’s vast experience in implementing its Business and Human Rights initiative and promoting HRDD has shown that business of all sizes can be agents of positive change. As the development actor with the largest dedicated field presence in this thematic area, UNDP has helped companies address social justice issues, both within their operations and in promoting broader changes in policy and regulation.

Paris Agreement

“Businesses have a role to play in achieving the SDGs and achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement,” said Asako Okai, UNDP Under-Secretary-General, Deputy Administrator and Director of the UNDP Crisis Office.

Government of Japan

“With this new project, UNDP and the Government of Japan come together to support companies in their efforts to meet human rights standards and advocate with governments for better policies and legislation to protect rights and encourage responsible business. . In our current context, they also have the potential to become engines of a just recovery from COVID-19, even in fragile and crisis-affected contexts. To better move forward, we need concerted and urgent action,” said ASG Okai.

UNDP Global Program

The project will be implemented through the UNDP Global Program for the Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice and Security for Sustainable Peace and Development (the Global Program) in coordination with partners active in the field of responsible business , such as the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), International Labor Organization (ILO) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Business and Human Rights

This new initiative complements UNDP’s ongoing work on Business and Human Rights. Since 2016, UNDP has supported the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) with a focus on Asia and the Pacific, and with the support of the Government of Sweden and the European Union.

Japan and Sweden

In 2020, this regional program expanded its operations. Currently, 26 UNDP country offices in five regions are working with governments, businesses and civil society organizations, with support from the EU, Japan and Sweden, among others. UNDP provides technical assistance for the development and implementation of National Action Plans on business and human rights, advises companies on conducting human rights due diligence processes, and promotes access to remedies for victims of abuses against human rights by companies.

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