The Rafto Foundation, along with a group of Rafto Laureates and human rights defenders in our network, were prensent at the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva. This conference is considered the world's leading meeting place for those interested in business and human rights. The participants had the opportunity to speak about their situations and promote their cases to the global community.
Geneva, December 2022
Photo: Ahmed Abdallah (ECRF), Maren F. Nordgreen (Rafto) and Sidi Mohammed Daddach in front of the UN Bulding in Geneva.
This year's conference focused on the role of the rights holders and how to increase accountability in order to promote businesses' respect for people and the environment. It is important that affected people are consulted when states develop due diligence laws and when businesses conduct due diligence assessments.
Access to grievance mechanisms and remedy is essential, and the voices of human rights defenders and indigenous peoples must be included in these discussions.
The delegation included Rafto Laureates and other representatives from our the network of international human rights organisations: Sahrawi human rights defender Sidi Mohammed Daddach (Laureate 2002), Asria Taleb Mohamed (the Norwegian Western Sahara Support Committee), Ahmed Abdallah from the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (Laureate 2020), Nedal Al-Salman from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Laureate 2013), Adikanda Singh from the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (Laureate 2007), and Prabindra Shakya from the Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network (CEMSOJ), an organization focusing on marginalized groups in Nepal.
The laureates and their organizations had the opportunity to speak about their situations and promote their cases to the global community , highlighting the importance of involving local communities and marginalized groups in companies' human rights work.
The trip to Geneva also provided our network of Rafto laureates with the opportunity to get to know each other, learn more about business and human rights and how it relates to their work, and meet other actors working towards the same goals.