About the Seminar

The III International Seminar on Human Rights and Business is part of a series of events that have been organized in recent years by Homa - Human Rights and Business Centre of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. In 2016, it will take place in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil, from 27 to 29 April, aiming to bring together national and international experts in the field along with leaders and activists of social movements, NGOs, trade unions and other social players involved with the protection of human rights and the defense against violations by companies.

The event will address relevant issues in the current scenario of discussion on Human Rights and Business, such as:

- The process of elaboration of an international binding instrument on Human Rights and Business;
- The process of development and international consulting of the People’s Treaty;
- The process of implementation of the Guiding Principles and its application through National Action Plans;
- The impact of mining and its relation with human rights violations;
- Resistance movements and confrontation mechanisms against human rights abuses in its multiple dimensions;
- Public Funding, Large Enterprises and Human Rights Violations.

Homa – Human Rights and Business Centre

Created in February 2012 and running with support from the Ford Foundation since its establishment, Homa is an academic centre that aims to develop research in the area of Human Rights and Business, always seeking to contribute to the protection and defense of human rights, which is why these always comes before "Business" on its name. Currently, the centre is organized into three core research lines:

· Global Agenda on Human Rights and Business: Analyzes the application and implementation of the Guiding Principles in Brazil, the development of the Brazilian National Action Plan and the Process of development of an International Binding Instrument on Human Rights and Business;

· Public Funding and Large Enterprises: Analyzes public funding for large companies and enterprises that violate Human Rights and the responsibility of the funding entities for such violations;

· Mechanisms of confrontation against Human Rights Violations by Companies: Investigates specific cases of human rights violations by companies in Brazil; Researches collaborative tools of judicial resistance for victims of human rights violations by companies in Brazil.


The seminar will be attended by national and international experts on the subject, from both the academic world, members of non-governmental organizations, representatives of States and victims of human rights violations by companies. The following guests have confirmed their participation in the event:

Event Program

April 27

6 PM – Registration

7 PM – Opening

8 PM – Keynote Conference: Global Agenda on Human Rights and business: Between Advances and Setbacks

This conference aims to encourage debate on the global agenda of "Human Rights and Business," and to promote discussion about the possible advances and setbacks in the creation and implementation of international accountability mechanisms of companies for human rights violations.

10PM – Closing

April 28

9 AM – Implementation of the Guiding Principles on business and human rights in Brazil and worldwide: Critical Perspectives

This panel aims to promote critical discussion about the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Brazil and worldwide, the analysis of the development and implementation of National Action Plans, as well as the visits carried out by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and the debate about the regulation of ILO Convention 169.

1 PM – Lunch break

2 PM – International Treaty on Business and Human Rights

This debate table aims to discuss the elaboration process of an international binding instrument under way at UN, questioning its official process through the Intergovernmental Working Group and the dynamics around the international articulation of social movements and non-governmental organizations such as the Treaty Alliance and the Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, among others.

5 PM – Popular development of an International Framework on Business and Human Rights: The Peoples’ Treaty

This panel will work towards discussion of popular experiences of development of national and international legal instruments for human rights protection and people's courts' experiences, especially the People's Treaty and the People's Court.

7 PM – Closing

April 29

9 AM –Processes and Mechanisms of Resistance to Fight Human Rights Violations in their different dimensions 

This panel aims to discuss the popular organized resistance towards defense against human rights violations in its various dimensions, and also to address various popular, militant, judicial and extrajudicial mechanisms for tackling violations of these rights. Analysis of experiences and concrete cases of resistance in Brazil and the world, and emancipatory use of alternative mechanisms for fighting against rights violations will also be carried out.

1 PM – Lunch Break

2 PM – Public Funding and Large Enterprises

This panel aims to discuss the relationship between the public and private sectors regarding government funding of companies through public development banks, public funds and development agencies. The state's participation in the corporation's structure through shareholding of stock assets, acting as intermediary agent of merging and acquisition processes, and its possible responsibility for human rights violations committed in business activity will also be discussed. Additionally, discussion on the Brazilian development bank BNDES, its governance model, transparency mechanisms and funding criteria will be carried out.

5 PM – The impact of Mining Business and human rights violations

This debate table will focus on the impact of mining business on the social reality, in all stages, from licensing to operation, including its production chain, to question its negative impacts, irregularities and human rights violations. This panel will also present reports of real life experiences and analysis of specific cases of rights violations by mining activity in Brazil and worldwide.

8 PM - Ending

Event Location

The event will be held at PUC Rio, at Rua Rosário de Mello, 22. Rio de Janeiro / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Frings Building - Auditorium B8

Sign up for the Seminar

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