Rosalind Croucher, President, Australia human rights commission
Australian Government has been recently called on to be wary and cautious of business which involves human rights harms. Recently, a report from Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney, was published which verifies how the implementation of United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) is done in Australia.
Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission mentioned that the UNGP on Business and Human Rights are the recoginised global standard for States and business around preventing and addressing business-related human rights harms. Being endorsed in 2011 by UNHRC, these principles were also co-sponsored by the Australian Government at UN.
This year in June 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the UNGPs by the UNHRC was celebrated. These guiding principles have set a stepping stonefor businesses that are revolve around lawand policy.
Professor Justine Nolan, who is the Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute pointed out that the Australian government and businesses must walk the talk and accept the need to remediate harms so that there is accountability for business related impacts wherever they occur.
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He further added that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequalities at the heart of the global economic system and has pushed those that power our global supply chains into further precarity. The pandemic has highlighted the need for stronger social safeguards and a people-centred approach to business. Professor Croucher is of the opinion that there is still a significant gap in translating human rights policies into practice. While the report highlights some key areas of progress, including the introduction of modern slavery reporting laws and the strengthening of Australia’s OECD National Contact Point complaint mechanism, much work remains to be done.