IICA Seminar on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Professionals in India

The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) has introduced a new program focused on creating a cadre of Business and Human Rights (BHR) Professionals in India. The initiative, launched at a Curtain Raiser Event, emphasizes the importance and relevance of BHR leaders and professionals in the country.

IICA Seminar on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Professionals in India

Developing BHR Professionals for a Sustainable Future

The event featured notable speakers, including Shri Devendra Kumar Singh, Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), who emphasized the need for trained BHR Professionals in India. He praised IICA’s timely initiative, aimed at building the capacities of corporate functionaries in Business and Human Rights, and encouraged further collaboration between NHRC and IICA to strengthen the BHR agenda in the country.

Shri Praveen Kumar, Director General and CEO of IICA, highlighted the institute’s role in providing technical policy inputs for drafting National Action Plan on BHR, National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct, Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting, and High-Level Committee on CSR, among others.

Bridging the Gap: Implementing BHR Practices

Dr. Garima Dadhich, Head of the School of Business Environment at IICA, emphasized the competitive advantage gained by integrating BHR in business policies and practices. She expressed that the ‘IICA Certified BHR Professional Programme’ is the first of its kind in India and is designed to bridge the gap in implementing BHR practices.

Government Initiatives Promoting Business and Human Rights

Mr. Inderdeep Singh Dhariwal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, discussed the government’s various initiatives in promoting BHR in India. He mentioned the drafting of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP-BHR) and the launch of the National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC).

The Role of BHR in Business Risk Mitigation

Mr. R. Mukundan, Managing Director & CEO of Tata Chemicals Ltd., focused on business risk mitigation through the integration of BHR in business policies and practices. He emphasized the importance of BHR-related disclosures under the UNGC, GRI, NGRBC, and BRSR, as well as the need for capacity building among corporate executives.

Strengthening Corporate Capacity Building in BHR

As a result of this successful event, IICA, UNDP, and the European Union plan to continue their collaborative efforts in promoting BHR through various corporate capacity building initiatives. These programs aim to equip corporate professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate human rights principles into their business strategies and practices.

1. Expanding BHR Education and Training

To further enhance the skills of BHR professionals, IICA plans to expand its educational and training offerings. This may include workshops, webinars, and specialized courses to help businesses effectively adopt BHR principles and practices. By providing comprehensive training, IICA aims to create a strong foundation for BHR professionals to lead businesses in achieving sustainable growth while respecting human rights.

2. Encouraging Industry Collaboration and Dialogue

One of the key components of promoting BHR is facilitating dialogue and collaboration among businesses, industry associations, and stakeholders. IICA, UNDP, and the European Union intend to organize networking events and conferences to encourage the sharing of best practices and success stories in implementing BHR. Such forums will foster a collaborative environment, allowing businesses to learn from one another and develop more effective BHR strategies.

3. Monitoring and Reporting on BHR Progress

To track the progress of businesses in adopting BHR principles, IICA, UNDP, and the European Union will support the development of monitoring and reporting mechanisms. By evaluating and benchmarking the performance of businesses in terms of BHR, stakeholders can hold companies accountable for their actions, and businesses can identify areas for improvement.

4. Fostering Partnerships for BHR Advancement

The success of BHR initiatives depends on strong partnerships between government, civil society, and the private sector. IICA, UNDP, and the European Union will work together to identify and engage with key partners to ensure the effective implementation of BHR practices. By fostering a collaborative ecosystem, stakeholders can work together to advance the BHR agenda and drive sustainable development.

A Sustainable Future with Business and Human Rights

Through these collaborative efforts, IICA, UNDP, and the European Union aim to create a future where businesses operate with respect for human rights, contribute to sustainable development, and uphold the principles of social justice. By empowering BHR professionals, fostering dialogue, and encouraging collaboration, businesses can build a more sustainable, inclusive, and responsible future for all.

Collaborative Efforts for Promoting BHR

The event concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Ms. Nusrat Khan, BHR National Specialist at UNDP India. She highlighted the collaboration between UNDP, the European Union, and the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs in promoting BHR through corporate capacity building initiatives.


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