'From threats to opportunities': Business and human rights defenders


With the Human Rights council due to adopt a resolution on business and human rights at its 26th session in June, ISHR and the Legal Resources Centre are delighted to present a joint side event focusing on the situation of human rights defenders who work on issues of corporate responsibility and accountability on 13 June.

'From threats to opportunities'

Business and human rights defenders

Human Rights Council Side Event
Friday 13 June 2014, 12.15 - 13.45
Room IX, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Human rights defenders working on issues of corporate responsibility and accountability are under increasing threat around the world. The challenge for the Human Rights Council is to provide the right mix of incentives and pressure to ensure that States and businesses protect human rights defenders and their work, recognising that their participation represents an opportunity rather than a threat.
This panel will highlight the role of human rights defenders in promoting corporate responsibility and in exposing and remedying the adverse human rights impacts of business. The discussion will also spotlight the threats and attacks that human rights defenders face from both State and non-State actors because of this work. The event aims to inform the Human Rights Council’s response to these issues through a resolution on business and human rights due be adopted during the 26th session.


  • Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
  • Maria Belen Paez, President, Fundación Pachamama, Ecuador
  • Tess Peacock, Constitutional Litigation Unit, Legal Resources Centre, South Africa
  • Alice Harrison, Communications Adviser, Global Witness
  • Michael O'Flaherty, Professor of Human Rights and former member of UN Human Rights Committee


  • Phil Lynch, Director, International Service for Human Rights

For those unable to attend, a live webcast will be available at www.ishr.ch/webcast. You can also follow the event on Twitter @ISHRGlobal, using the hashtag #HRDs.
If you would like to attend but do not have UN accreditation, please email information@ishr.ch before 12 noon on Tuesday 10 June.


  • Corporate accountability
  • UN Special Rapporteur on HRDs
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • Ecuador
  • South Africa