A symposium on business, human rights and the role of home states
Canadian and international leaders from government, business, academia, the legal profession and civil society gathered in Ottawa on September 28, 2017 for the Bringing Responsibility Home symposium, to examine the role of home state governments in addressing the human rights challenges associated with transnational business.
The symposium, presented by Above Ground and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable on the eve of Canada’s G7 presidency, attracted nearly 150 participants. They explored ground-breaking international developments relating to business and human rights, and opportunities for Canada to emerge as a leader in this rapidly evolving field.
“What message do we want to send to victims of severe corporate-related abuse in host countries where no reasonable person can claim that justice will be provided?” – John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative for business and human rights, in keynote speech
Panelists and roundtable participants delved into topics such as
- how courts in Canada are handling claims of Canadian corporate abuse overseas;
- the use of criminal law to prosecute human rights crimes by corporate actors; and
- a shift underway in Europe towards laws establishing civil liability for parent companies that fail to take reasonable steps to prevent human rights and environmental harms in their global operations and supply chains.
For a more detailed overview of the discussions and highlights of comments made by participants, see this article published on the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre website following the symposium.
The event was co-hosted by members of parliament Dean Allison (Conservative Party), Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal Party), Cheryl Hardcastle (New Democratic Party) and Elizabeth May (Green Party), and senators Raynell Andreychuk (Conservative Party) and Marilou McPhedran (Independent Senators Group).
See the full list of speakers and hosts, and their biographies, here.