Webinar Series: Business and Human Rights Developments in Southern Europe
Episode 1: Business and Human Rights Developments in Portugal
Date: 15 September 2020
Time: 12:00-13:30 (UK / Portugal time)
Various jurisdictions across the world have adopted National Action Plans in Business and Human Rights and have enacted legislations or are discussing legislative initiatives to regulate companies and prevent adverse human rights and environmental impacts. These developments raise important questions about the adequacy of existing norms and their ability to drive change towards responsible business practices. Whilst much of the focus so far has been on a small number of countries seen as 'big players', less attention has turned to jurisdictions in Southern Europe in which important developments are currently occurring.
The aim of this webinar series is to gather scholars, legal practitioners, companies, civil society, government representatives, policy advisers, investors, insurers, and other relevant stakeholders from Southern European jurisdictions in order to provide insights into the current regulatory landscape, and the lessons that can be learn from other jurisdictions. The webinars will be multilingual.
Find out more about the series
Episode 1: Portugal
For the first episode of the webinar series, the spotlight was on Portugal. The panel analysed some of the key findings of the first national survey on Business and Human Rights in Portugal, the current legal landscape in relation to human rights and environmental responsibilities of companies, relevant instances before the Portuguese OECD National Contact Point, as well as taking in practical insights and perspectives from academics, government representatives, NGOs, legal practitioners, trade unions, and business.
The keynote speech was delivered by the Vice-president of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala. In recent years, much of the attention in the business and human rights field has focused overwhelmingly on a small number of Northern European countries, so Hautala welcomed the initiative of the webinar series and its focus on other jurisdictions.
She discussed recent developments at the European level following the announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, that the European Commission would introduce a legislative initiative on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence as part of the post-COVID 19 recovery package in 2021. Hautala emphasized that: 'it is now time to move from baby steps to giant strides'.
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- Beatriz Albuquerque, Vieira de Almeida & Associados
- Pedro Almeida, Senior Officer, Ministry of Justice, Portugal
- Isabel Cabrita, ISCSP/ Universidade de Lisboa
- Hugo Dionísio, General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGPT-IN)
- Céline da Graça Pires, Human Rights specialist at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
- Pedro Neto, Executive Director of Amnesty International, Portugal
- Rui Ribeiro Lima, Morais Leitão Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados
- Teresa Violante, Fiedrich-Alexander Universität-Erlangen-Nürnberg
Keynote speech by Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Chair of the Responsible Business Conduct Working Group.
Presentations from Episode 1
Recording of Episode 1
This event offers the equivalent of 1.5 CPD hours.
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