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Participation in the UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum, Asia-Pacific 2023

From June 6-9, 2023, JaCER participated in the UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Asia-Pacific Forum (UN RBHR2023) held in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme of this year's forum was "From Commitment to Action," and 40 sessions were held over the four days. JaCER co-hosted a side session with the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ) and the Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC) titled "Benefits and Challenges of Collective Grievance Mechanisms - The Case of JaCER”.

A summary of the meeting follows.

  • While last year's forum focused on the progress of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights, this year the focus was primarily on mandatory human rights due diligence, and human rights and environmental issues. The EU is in the process of developing a Mandatory Human Rights DD Directive (mHRDD) and a Draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDDD), and this trend seemed to be spreading to Asia as well.


  • As for individual issues, the problem of harassment and SLAPP against human rights defenders (SLAPP: strategic lawsuit against public participation) was emphasized. This issue is not new. However, the number of SLAPP cases has increased significantly since last year (555 cases per year in 2022), and about 75% of attacks against human rights defenders are against environmental defenders. Because environmental issues are becoming a featured issue in recent years (and one of the most common methods for this attack is SLAPP (about 40%), it is attracting a lot of attention.


  • At the JaCER's side event, Mr. Keiichi Ujiie, Deputy Secretary General of GCNJ, Dr. Srirapha Petcharamesree, Senior Researcher at Chulalongkorn University, Ms. Annie Khan, BHRRC Asia Regional Manager, Prof. Aisha Bidin, Malaysian Representative to ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Professor, Mr. Sakon Kuramoto, Representative Manager at JaCER, and Dr. Akihiro Ueda, a Stakeholder Engagement Manager at JaCER, were the speakers. There were approximately 30 in-person participants and 20 online participants.

JaCER will continue to engage with stakeholders in the Asian region and beyond through these opportunities to ensure effective and efficient grievance mechanism.


UN RBHR 2023 Official Website

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