Going beyond compliance - IOE-CEOE International Conference on Business and Human Rights

The International Conference on Business and Human Rights, which took place in Madrid on 3 April, brought together companies from Europe and around the world.

Organised by the IOE and hosted by the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations (CEOE) this event exposed participants to efforts by leading businesses to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The latest legal developments, due diligence, supply chains, SMEs, SDGs and corruption were discussed during a series of intense debates with companies and business representatives, as well as business and human rights experts and academics.

CEOE President Antonio Garamendi, the Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Xiana Méndez Bértolo, and IOE Secretary General Roberto Suárez Santos opened the conference. Mr Suárez also moderated a high-level discussion with the Ibero-American Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan and IOE Vice-president to the ILO, Mthunzi Mdwaba. Mr. Mdwaba explained businesses want to go beyond minimum standards. "Companies not only want to do no harm; they also want to do good to go beyond compliance for advancing human rights and due diligence," he explained. His message resonated throughout conference discussions.

This Conference marks the end of a three-day event on Human Rights. IOE successfully led two workshops from 1-2 April: one on SMEs and human rights and the other on the tools employers’ organisations need to provide support to their members in respecting human rights.

Find all the tweets from the event on our official Twitter page: @ioevoice. Many more photos of the event and participants can be found on our official Flickr

Photo copyright: Jesús Umbría, Fernando Villar y María Roldán

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