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MEXICO: FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT BY UN EXPERT GROUP ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

25 August 2016


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GENEVA (Issued as recieved) – The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights will visit Mexico from 29 August to 7 September 2016 to examine efforts by the Government and business enterprises to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities.

“Mexico is a vast and diverse country, the second biggest economy in Latin America with large industries in a range of sectors, including electronics and automobiles, and important State owned energy sector companies,” said human rights expert Pavel Sulyanziga, who currently heads the Working Group.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to developing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights and we look forward to learning about the steps it is taking to integrate protections against business-related human rights abuse into policy and legislation,” he added.

The experts are looking at how the Mexican Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights*.

The UN Guiding Principles offer clarity and guidance for authorities and companies to prevent and address adverse impacts of business activities on human rights. They reaffirm States’ existing obligations to protect against human rights abuse by businesses. They also clarify the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the need to ensure that victims have access to effective remedy.

“In addition to engaging with the Government and various large companies and State owned enterprises, we will meet a range of civil society actors, human rights defenders and members of indigenous communities” added Dante Pesce, the other member of the Working Group’s visiting delegation.

The experts, who visit the country at the invitation of the Mexican Government, will hold meetings in Mexico City and in the States of Oaxaca, Jalisco and Sonora.

At the end of their mission, on Wednesday 7 September, the experts will hold a press conference to share with the media preliminary observations from their visit at 13:00, at the UN Information Center, Montes Urales 440, Lomas de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, 11000 Mexico City. Access to the press conference is limited to journalists.

Findings from the country visit and recommendations will be published in a report to be presented to the Human Rights Council.

(*)
Read the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/Tools.aspx



The Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. Its current members are: Mr. Michael Addo (current vice chair), Mr. Surya Deva, Mr. Dante Pesce, Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga (current Chairperson), and Ms. Anita Ramasastry. Learn more, log on to: www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx

The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent human rights monitoring mechanisms. The Working Groups report to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. The experts are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.


UN Human Rights, country page – Mexico:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/MXIndex.aspx

For additional information please contact: Ulrik Halsteen +41 79 444 3702 (during the dates of the visit) / +41 22 917 9323 (before and after the visit) /
wg-business@ohchr.org

For
media requests and queries relating to the press conference on 7 September please contact: (In Mexico City) Arturo Ávila (+52 55 5061 6374 / +52 55 5438 1729 / arturo.avila@hchr.org.mx).

You can access this media advisory here:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20410&LangID=E

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR16/295E