When we talk about the dealings between business and human rights for indigenous people, the task of addressing issues and implementing ‘protection mechanism’ seems almost unsurmountable. However, ‘it depends on what perspective and the context of the place from where we are looking at the issues’ says Hans Petter Graver, the Chair of OECD National Contract Point Norway. In the seminar titled “Businesses and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms” organized by The Rainforest Foundation Norway and Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous People on 4th of November 2014 in Oslo, Graver gave an interesting presentation on how OECD guidelines have served to protect the rights of indigenous people and what responsibilities OECD guidelines play in Norwegian companies and investment institutions.
Current business development is filled with catchy words such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). There is accumulating awareness about how businesses should have some form of ethical and social responsibility. Businesses have, at the least, the financial and political power to do so. However, the fundamental purpose of most businesses is a linear construction towards profit, so what are the obligations of businesses, especially when it comes to Indigenous Peoples?
The Rainforest Foundation and the Forum for Development Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples welcomed last Tuesday Nov. 4 the seminar: “Businesses and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms.”
“There are already several treaties and agreements. Even though it represents an essential foundation, we need to move forward with solid implementation. We need tools to strengthen the importance of these documents.” Directly from the start, these words from Rukka Sombolinggi of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) have set the tone of the seminar.
Rainforest Foundation and the Forum for Development Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples welcomes the half-day seminar: “Business and human rights of indigenous peoples: challenges and protection mechanisms.”
Today’s intensive hunt for resources leads to increased pressure on indigenous land, territories and way of life.