N.I to Debate the Business of Human Rights

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11 December 2015

As part of the local Human Rights Festival, the Northern Ireland Business and Human Rights Forum today is hosting an event in Belfast on ‘The Business of Human Rights’. It will examine the steps Northern Ireland businesses are taking to protect and respect human rights.

Dr Shane Darcy from NUI Galway, an expert on business and human rights, will provide the opening keynote address, and has stated that:

“The increased attention being paid to the issue of business respect for human rights at the international level needs to be translated into local action, and this event provides a great opportunity to do just that, by engaging with business, human rights activists and public bodies.”

Chair of the event & the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby commented:

The Forum is an exciting new initiative and more importantly local business are the driving force behind it. We are delighted that businesses represented here today are leading the way in adopting human rights policies. Much can be done to improve the lives of people here and abroad by local business engaging with human rights and ethical trading. We encourage our local businesses to join the Forum to learn more about human rights, and share their experiences on the best ways to implement them.”

Three members of the Business and Human Rights Forum, Clare Moore (ICTU), Kerry Kelly (Tesco), and Tina McKenzie (Staffline Ireland), form the panel of the event, and will provide short presentations on the business and human rights work their organisations are engaged in.

Notes to editors

1. The event will be held at the Harbour Commissioners office on Friday 11 December 2015.

2. Dr Shane Darcy is a lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway. He is on the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal, a member of the National Board of Amnesty International’s Irish Section and runs the Business and Human Rights in Ireland blog.

3. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is a National Human Rights Institution. It is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.

4. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is the current chair of the Business and Human Rights Forum, and provides the Secretariat.

5. The Northern Ireland Business and Human Rights Forum was established in 2015 to share information and good practice amongst businesses. The forum has members from businesses (large and SMEs), NGOs, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Department of Finance and Personnel and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

6. The work of the forum follows the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The forum meets quarterly, with the next meeting scheduled for January 2016.More details are available here


11 Dec 2015