• seminar seminar

Joint Webinar on "Corporate Responsibility in Conflict-affected areas: Russian Invasion and Japanese Companies”

On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, JaCER, in cooperation with the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, co-hosted a webinar entitled " Corporate Responsibility in Conflict-affected areas: Russian Invasion and Japanese Companies “. The speakers were Ella Skybenko, Senior Researcher and Representative for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, and Vladyslava Kaplina, a Research Assistant for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The main points of the presentations were as follows.

  • Negative impacts on human rights need to be identified in accordance with UN Guiding Principle 13 on Business and Human Rights. Enhanced Human Rights Due Diligence is required in conflict-affected situations. Enhanced human rights due diligence should be ongoing and involve stakeholders for conflict analysis and utilize "red flags" (identifying signs of use of force and large-scale violence).
  • Guidelines developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stipulate that companies should consider responsible withdrawal in certain conflict situations. Companies should consider withdrawing when local laws are contrary to internationally recognized human rights, for example.
  • In situations of armed conflict, companies should also give due consideration to compliance with international humanitarian law. If employees are indirectly or directly involved in war crimes, they may be prosecuted if they do not respond appropriately. With regard to Russia, there are in fact an increasing number of cases where companies are being prosecuted.

During the Q&A session, there was a lively discussion on such issues as how to respond to the diversion of general-purpose products sold and manufactured by Japanese companies into arms, the negative impact of economic sanctions on human rights, the scope of enhanced human rights due diligence that companies are required to conduct and how to effectively implement it, cases where companies have been held liable under international criminal law, and rationale when a company decides to withdraw from conflict-affected areas.

JaCER will continue to collaborate with experts and organizations to provide timely seminars and other opportunities to disseminate information on important events and themes related to business and human rights in order to effectively support remedies.