NZ Business & Human Rights Forum

9-11 August 2016

Respecting human rights makes good business sense

New Zealand businesses are increasingly aware that respecting human rights is not only the right thing to do - it's also good for business. Many businesses ensure they look after their workers, customers and the communities they operate in by complying with regulations. This is a great start, and it needs to go further.

Forum Event Overview

In August, the Human Rights Commission brought the leading experts on Business and Human Rights, Shift, to New Zealand to facilitate a three-day Business and Human Rights Forum. As part of the Forum, a series of events were held where kiwi businesses learnt more about the economic advantages and benefits of actively respecting human rights, and the cost of not doing so.

Business & Human Rights Forum Resources

Presentations

Business & Human Rights Government Roundtable, 9 August

Government Action on Business and Human Rights. 

Rachel Davis and David Kovich, Shift. 


Business & Human Rights Investors and Directors Workshop, 10 August 

Connecting Human Rights Risks to ESG Performance: What Questions Should Investors and Directors Be Asking? 

Rachel Davis and David Kovich, Shift. 


Business & Human Rights Workshop for Practitioners, 11 August

Practical Approaches to Business and Human Rights. 

Rachel Davis and David Kovich, Shift.


Other Resources 

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner.


The Business of Human Rights: A Guide For Good Kiwi Corporate Citizens (Accessible Version)

New Zealand Human Rights Commission. 

Forum Speakers

Rachel Davis

Managing Director, SHIFT

Biography

Rachel Davis is an Australian lawyer with over a decade of experience in business and human rights. She served as senior legal advisor to Professor John Ruggie, the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and helped develop the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – the authoritative global standard on this topic. 

Rachel is now Managing Director of Shift, the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles. Founded in 2011, Shift’s team of experts works globally with businesses, governments, civil society and international organizations to embed the UN Guiding Principles into practice. Most recently, Rachel led the Shift team supporting Professor Ruggie to develop human rights recommendations for global football body FIFA. She is a regular speaker at high level panels and discussions on business and human rights.

Rachel is also a Research Fellow with the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, where she has led ground-breaking work on the costs of company-community conflict in the extractive industry. 

Brent Wilton

Director Global Workplace Rights, Coca Cola

Biography

Having trained as a labour lawyer in New Zealand, Brent Wilton has spent the last 28 years representing companies and their representative organisations across a range of labour and human rights issues in countries around the world.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola as director of Global Workplace Rights, Brent was with the International Organisation of Employers representing the interests of business in 150 countries on global labour and social policy matters across the UN and wider multilateral system. As a result, Brent has directly engaged with Global Union Federations, NGOs, Governments, other stakeholders and opinion makers in the negotiation and resolution of issues.

Brent was engaged from the outset in the stakeholder discussions that led to the creation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and more recently with the UN Human Rights Working Group on their follow up to the implementation of the Principles. Brent also served on the Board of the UN Global Compact in his last role as IOE Secretary General and was co-chair of their multi-stakeholder Labour and Human Rights Working Group.

David Kovick 

Senior Advisor, SHIFT

Biography

David Kovick is a professional mediator and facilitator who works with businesses, governments, civil society and international institutions to help them put the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into practice. At Shift, he brings strategic expertise to training, process design and facilitation across the organization’s engagements. David’s experience spans the full scope of the Guiding Principles, with particular expertise in supporting stakeholder engagement, designing multi-stakeholder dialogues and grievance mechanisms.

David previously spent seven years working as a professional mediator and facilitator with the Consensus Building Institute, a non-profit organization focusing on public dispute resolution and multi-stakeholder dialogue. In that role, he designed and led company-stakeholder engagement processes in the Niger Delta, worked on land disputes in the Middle East, and facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogue processes across a broad range of issues. He has held fellowships with the Hewlett Foundation and the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School.

2016 New Zealand Business & Human Rights Forum Launch Gallery