About the Seminar

The International Seminar on Human Rights and Business, held annually by Homa, has become reference in Latin America for bringing together different sectors of society, researchers and activists that face human rights violations committed by transnational corporations. It also serves as a space to hold relevant discussions regarding domestic and international agendas, such as the negotiation of the Treaty on Human Rights and Business at the United Nations Council. The event has also had in different occasions the participation of the OEIGWG Chair-Rapporteur. Initially organized at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Homa's headquarter, the event was also held in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with the Brazilian Human Rights Council (CNDH), University of São Paulo (USP), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and Brazilian Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES-Brasil).

Because of a greater understanding of the violations that large corporations cause in the territories, the subject of Human Rights and Business is growing more important by the day in our society, and this specific view of the already consolidated field of study is crucial. The theme is under discussion in Brazil due to the perpetuation of corporate impunity, as seen in the emblematic case of Mariana and the Brumadinho disaster settlement, as well as in the UN, with the publication of the 3rd version of the Draft of the Treaty on Human Rights and Business for the 7th Negotiation Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The debate also deepens in several countries with the creation of new national initiatives, which start from the inefficiency of the Guiding Principles to address the issue. Thus, discussions arise on due diligence laws in Europe, on a Catalan public body for monitoring companies regarding human rights, and even on a Brazilian framework law. Therefore, in the wake of continuing this process of strengthening civil society and the dissemination of knowledge about Human Rights and Business, especially in Brazil and Latin America, and opening space for the definition of these developments, Homa proposes the VIII International Seminar on Human Rights and Business, held entirely online, between November 23rd and 26th, 2021.

Panelists

The Seminar will count with the presence of several national and international specialists on the subject, coming from the academic universe as well as from non-governmental organizations and representatives of governmental and multilateral agencies.
The panelists will be announced soon.

Event Schedule

November 23th

9 AM - Opening

10 AM - Panel 1 | International Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Challenges and Perspectives.

6 PM - 9 PM | Workshop: Popular legal assistance and people's autonomy

Theme 1 | Autonomous Consultation Protocols and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

November 24th

10 AM - Panel 2 | Forced migration and large business projects

2 PM - Panel 3 | ILO Convention 169 and indigenous and traditional peoples' rights

6 PM - 9 PM | Workshop: Popular legal assistance and people's autonomy

Theme 2 | People's Advocacy

November 25th

2 PM - Panel 4 | Lex Mercatoria, human rights and democracy 

7 PM - Panel 5 | Justice System and popular participation: a look at human rights violations by companies in the territories

November 26th

10 AM - Panel 6 | Due Diligence frameworks and National Action Plans: critical perspectives                      

2 PM - Panel 7 | The need for a framework law in Brazil on Human Rights and Business

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Register for the Seminar

The event is free of charge and will issue a 20h certificate for those who have presence in at least 75% of the spaces.

 

Homa – Human Rights and Business Centre

Homa - Human Rights and Business Centre, was created in 2012 at the Law School of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora - Brazil, with the support of the Ford Foundation - Brazil, as an academic centre for research and extension, with the objective of producing qualified knowledge and providing academic-legal advice on human rights violations perpetrated by business, focusing on the protection of human rights and the centrality of those affected, for civil society and the government.

Different from the main nomenclature in that field of study " Business and Human Rights ", we call ourselves the Centre for Human Rights and Business, exactly because we believe that the theme should be regarded under the logic of these rights protection. Therefore, those must come before the business in this legal, political and academic discussion.

We develop research lines around "Human Rights and business", informing, raising awareness and training actors of the society on the theme, besides offering academic-legal advice for the action of the organized Civil Society and Government. For this purpose, our action is supported by other academic entities, organized sectors of the Civil Society and even the State. Having a bigger and closer relation to the testimony of the affected by Human Rights violations.

In that scenario, Homa has been following since 2013 the international agenda on Human Rights and Business, developed at the United Nations, which includes the negotiation of an International Treaty on the theme at The Human Rights Council. The Centre was present in all sessions of negotiation of the binding instrument, as well as in several informal consultations, and ordinary sessions of the Council. Homa is part and advise the “Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity”, which has a network of more than 200 social movements and organizations throughout the world linked to it. In 2017, we were invited, on the figure of the coordinator Manoela Roland, as experts on the field to speak to members of the Working Group at the 3rd Negotiation Session at the UN in Geneva.

In the same way, Homa worked along with the Conselho Nacional de Direitos Humanos – Brazil on the formulation of the draft of the Resolution No. 05, of 12 March 2020, of the CNDH. The resolution considers new National Guide Lines for a Public Policy on Human Rights and Business. The resolution, created in a democratic process and with the participation of the Civil Society, was used as a counterpoint to the Federal Decree No. 9.571/2018 and with a demonstration of the democratic creation of a normative mechanism of public policy on the theme in Brazil. Also, regarding the national context, Homa is part of a research team called Rede de Pesquisa Rio Doce, acting on the case of the Fundão dam collapse in Mariana, Minas Gerais. The group along with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights also filed a suit on the case. Besides that network, the Centre also integrates the Working Group on Human Rights and Business of the Brazilian Federal Prosecution Service.