Our new publication Gender Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches focuses on the direct responsibilities of business actors to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.
As such, it details corporate human rights obligations to respect the equal rights of men, women and gender non-conforming people within the workplace, but also in relation to the wider economic, social and cultural impact of their activities. It uses examples from global supply chains, land-based agricultural investments and conflict zones to documents existing business practices that affect the realization of gender equality. The publication also provides recommendations as to how companies could engage in human rights due diligence to more effectively prevent, mitigate, account for and remedy gender-related inequalities.
This publication contributes to the United Nations (UN) working group on business and human rights’ consultation process on the incorporation of a gender perspective into the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Several of the main findings were presented during a roundtable on gender responsive human rights due diligence at the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.
Following additional regional and international consultations – including a final meeting organized by the Geneva Academy in January 2019 –, the working group will present its guidance to the Human Rights Council in June 2019.
‘Besides this support to the UN working group, the publication will also be of use to companies, civil society organizations, intergovernmental organizations, governments, National Human Rights Institutions and academics who are interested in ensuring that companies respect and promote gender equality within their activities and areas of influence' underlines Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and co-author of the publication.
The publication highlights that businesses must go beyond minimum standards to respect human rights standards related to gender equality and also consider ways in which they might use their influence to facilitate gender-related human rights guarantees by identifying, confronting and helping to dismantle structural forms of inequality.
As such, companies should implement gender responsive human rights due diligence (HRDD) processes in order to comply with their obligations to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.
‘HRDD processes necessitate the integration of a gender perspective within all areas of a company’s operations in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy gender-based discrimination and inequalities’ explains Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni.
‘Our publication details the key elements and components of HRDD processes. These range from participatory human rights impact assessments, to the implementation of mitigation measures for gender discrimination, the systematic collection and analysis of disaggregated data, ongoing monitoring and transparent information sharing, as well as the development of accessible and appropriate grievance mechanisms and remedies’ she adds.
The publication shows that in some instances, companies are already participating in initiatives that could lay the foundations for HRDD, and are putting in place policies and procedures that challenge gender discrimination. In certain cases, they are even taking a role in policy advocacy on these issues.
In the context of our Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020, an academic process contributing to the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies by the General Assembly, we held two regional consultations, for Eastern Europe and Latin America.
In this public lecture, Professor Philip Sands explained – on the basis of his research on two prominent founders of contemporary international law (Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin) and his own family’s experience – how international law has developed by protecting at the same time the individual (according to Lauterpacht's vision) and the group, with the success of Lemkin's endeavour towards a convention on the prevention and prohibition of genocide.
Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. The 2019 Spring School will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
The Geneva Academy is coordinating the academic input to the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies by the UN General Assembly via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional consultations, annual conferences in Geneva, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders.
UN Photo / Pierre Albouy
This project, launched in 2016, examines different concepts of universality, maps contemporary challenges to the principle of HR universality in the context of specific themes covered by the HRC and discusses the role of the HRC in the promotion and protection of universally guaranteed HR.