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UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: ICRC answers consultation on investors, ESG and human rights

In September 2023, the Australian Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and RMIT University made a submission in response to a call-for-input by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Received inputs will inform the Working Group’s report on investors, ESG and human rights to be presented to the 56th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2024.

The submission highlights that no matter how ESG is defined and understood by the finance sector, the adoption of effective ESG strategies and the genuine implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), in the context of armed conflict, must include a consideration of international humanitarian law (IHL) in addition to human rights and other associated responsibilities. The Working Group has an opportunity to highlight IHL and conflict-related risks in this consultation and underscore their significance, whereas in the past they have remained in the periphery. The submission calls on the Working Group to provide clarity on the integration of IHL as part of the human rights lens in ESG in its guidance to investors.

Read the full submission here.