WILPF Human Rights Programme was honoured to welcome to Geneva delegates from our national sections: Sweden, Cameroon and Colombia.

The representatives from WILPF Cameroon, Sweden and Colombia came to Geneva to participate in the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. This was part of WILPF’s strategy to actively engage on the issue of human rights violations by corporations and in particular to advocate for a legally-binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.

Participating to this forum enabled the sections to develop a wider understanding of the topic of business and human rights and to grasp the critical issues and their relevance for WILPF’s human rights work on social justice. For instance, delegates participated to side events dedicated to the risks that women human rights defenders face when denouncing corporate abuses and to panels on the specific risks that arise in conflict settings where businesses operate.

Important sessions also focused on the legally binding treaty on business and human rights and exchanges demonstrated once again the limits of a voluntary approach on business and human rights, in particular in order to ensure access to justice and to remedies for victims of corporate abuses. Although side events panels were overall gender-balanced, WILPF wishes that there were more women speakers present during the High-level Opening Plenary session.

Our members were specially interested in the role that Corporations might have in conflict and how to ensure conflict prevention and sustainable peace. They have now returned to their countries with the determination to establish linkages with other partners and incorporate this matter of social justice in their work.

WILPF will continue with its sections to engage on this topic and will keep you updated on our actions.