Business and human rights defenders: the next decade and the role of businesses in protecting the shared civic space


6 July 2021

10:00-11:00 ET / 16:00-17:00 CEST

Online event
Register here


Business and human rights defenders operate in and benefit from a “shared civic space” defined by common, fundamental elements. The rule of law and freedom of expression, association, assembly and public participation are essential to the realisation of all human rights, to good governance and accountable institutions. These elements are also critical to stable, profitable and sustainable business environments in which companies thrive and economies, communities and people prosper.

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights just launched the Guidance on the role of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for engaging with, safeguarding and ensuring respect for the rights of human rights defenders. 

What are the necessary steps to get to a stage in which human rights defenders and businesses can build trust and enable cooperation? Can we reshape the pervasive narratives surrounding human rights defenders and businesses?

These are just some of the questions we will discuss at this online event - join us and register now!


  • Anita Ramasastry, Member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.  
  • Debbie Stothard, Coordinator and Founder, Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma.
  • Crispin Conroy, Permanent Observer of the International Chamber of Commerce to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
  • Rémy Friedmann, Senior Advisor, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Human Security and Business.


  • Andrés Zaragoza, Programme Manager - Business and Human Rights, International Service for Human Rights.


Illustration: Cover of the September 2018 report "Shared Space under Pressure"