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ASU director co-authors UN report on business and human rights in Asia


Nicole Greason

A new report released this month by the United Nations Development Programme focuses on the current state of business and human rights in Asia and lays out opportunities for action in the decade ahead.

The report, titled “Reflections and Directions – Business and Human Rights in Asia: From the First Decade to the Next,” looks at the first decade of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and assesses the progress and challenges on business and human rights in several countries. The findings and analysis are based on desk research and interviews with government, corporate and civil society actors.

Jason Briggs, senior director of global initiatives at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, is a co-author of the report.

Briggs said one of the main goals for this report is to help drive progress on business and human rights in the region and accelerate the full realization of the UNGPs in Asia.

According to the report, important victories were won in the first decade of UNGPs in Asia, including strengthened regional momentum on business and human rights and the adoption of Asia’s first national action plans (NAPs). But stakeholders in Asia see many gaps and hurdles and the need for Asia’s BHR movement to adjust and recalibrate for the next decade ahead.

The U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights launched the project, "A vision for the next decade of business and human rights," also known as UNGPs10+ and Next Decade of BHR. UNGPs10+ aims to “take stock of achievements to date, assess existing gaps and challenges, and, most importantly, develop an ambitious vision and roadmap for implementing the UNGPs more widely and more broadly between now and 2030.”

The report serves to contribute to UNGPs10+ by surveying the status of business and human rights across Asia, bringing together different visions and identifying opportunities for the decade ahead. It presents an overview of the status of business and human rights in Asia and focuses particularly, but not exclusively, on 11 countries demonstrating some progress on BHR, namely Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

View the report here.