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Friday, March 15 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Role of courts and national human rights institutions in facilitating access to remedy

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Access to effective remedy is a key component of the UN Guiding Principles on the Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs envisage a role for the following three types of mechanisms to provide remedies for business-related human rights abuses: state-based judicial mechanisms, state-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms (NJMs), and non-state-based grievance mechanisms. While judicial mechanisms are “at the core of ensuring access to remedy”, NJMs, such as national human rights institutions (NHRIs), have “an essential role in complementing and supplementing judicial mechanisms”. Like other NJMs, NHRIs should meet the effectiveness criteria set out in Principle 31 of the UNGPs.

Individuals and communities affected by business activities face several legal, practical and procedural barriers in seeking effective remedies. The OHCHR’s Accountability and Remedy Project has come up with a number of recommendations to overcome these barriers. Moreover, the Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Working Group) has unpacked what an effective remedy means under the UNGPs (A/72/162). In July 2018, the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/38/13) requested the Working Group “to analyse further the role of national human rights institutions in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses, and to convene a two-day global consultation on these issues, open to all stakeholders, and to inform the Council by its forty-fourth session as appropriate”.
Against this background, this session will explore the role of courts and NHRIs in South Asia in providing access to remedies in business-related human rights abuses.
The session aims to achieve the following objectives:
  • To assess the potential and limits of courts in South Asia in providing effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses;
  • To gain a better understanding of the existing mandates, policies and practices of NHRIs concerning access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses;
  • To know more about the challenges that NHRIs face in dealing with business-related human rights abuses and any good practices in overcoming those challenges; and
  • To discuss steps that could be taken to strengthen the role of NHRIs in providing effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses, especially in cases with a transnational dimension.

avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights


Jaideep Govind

Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission, India

Dalip Kumar

Joint Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, India
avatar for Ahmad Zia Langari

Ahmad Zia Langari

Commissioner, The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
BiographyAhmad Zia LangariHuman Rights CommissionerAfghanistan Independent Human Rights CommissionerKabul, AfghanistanMy academic background is agriculture science, M.Sc from Kabul University in 1977. I have worked for the Ministry of Agriculture of Afghanistan for fourteen years... Read More →
avatar for Deepika Udagama

Deepika Udagama

Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, Sri Lanka
Deepika Udagama is the Head of Department of Law, University of Peradeniya[1] and is on sabbatical. Her specialisation is international Human Rights law. She is Sri Lanka's alternate member to the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of Human Rights, and the UN Sub-Commission's Co-Special Reporter on Globalisation and its impact on Human Rights. Dr. Udagama was the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law. She serves as the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Foundat... Read More →
avatar for Kazi Rezaul Hoque

Kazi Rezaul Hoque

Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh
Kazi Reazul Hoque has been intensely & actively involved with different human rights activities, with special priority on child rights, rights of the persons with disabilities including autistic children, women empowerment, Rights of Migrant workers & Older persons and ethnic communities... Read More →
avatar for Mohna Ansari

Mohna Ansari

Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission, Nepal

Friday March 15, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am +0530
Viceroy Lobby level