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Over the last two years there has been a convergence around a set of core global standards based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and its "Protect, respect and remedy" framework. The EU renewed its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy in 2011 and has recently published an "Introductory guide to human rights for SMEs" and human rights guidance for the employment and recruitment, ICT and oil and gas sectors.
Equally, the OECD has updated its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to take into account the UN Principles, further developing the role of its National Contact Points and launched a Global Forum on responsible business conduct on 26 June 2013. The FRA has launched several projects which can incorporate a human rights and business dimension.
At the panel discussion, the FRA welcomed the Executive Director, John Morrisson, and the Director of Legal Affairs, Margaret Wachenfeld, of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, and the Austrian OECD National Contact Point, Hendrik Zechner.
Together with Albin Dearing of the FRA, they held a lively discussion moderated by the Agency’s Director, Morten Kjaerum, which examined where things are, what challenges still exist and where things are heading in the future regarding human rights and business.