UN Expert on human rights to speak at Galway conference


The Irish Centre for Human Rights will host a symposium in Galway on Friday, 23 March exploring the role of national action plans in furthering the business and human rights agenda.

Professor Anita Ramasastry, a renowned expert from the University of Washington and a member of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights, will speak at the event.

Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The momentum of the business and human rights agenda risks stalling in the absence of meaningful progress on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights.

“This symposium will consider whether national business and human rights plans constitute an effective means of ensuring corporate respect for human rights or merely serve to give the illusion of progress.”

National action plans have become the primary means of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights (2011), an authoritative policy framework aimed at addressing the potentially harmful effects of business activities on human rights.

The Irish Government adopted its National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020 in November 2017 on foot of recommendations by the European Commission and the United Nation Human Rights Council.

This symposium will bring together a number of legal and policy experts working in the field of business and human rights who will discuss and explore the prospects and problems associated with such national action plans, and their implications for States, business and civil society.

It will take place at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway.