Concept Note – Beyond Good Business

Advocating for women’s rights in the context of natural resource extraction and the
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Date: 26th October 2015

Location: London, Senate House

Background and Context: In recent years, there has been growing awareness of the
environmental, social and human impacts of worldwide extractivism on the lives and rights of
rural and indigenous peoples. Yet, the specific impacts of this process on women from these
communities remain largely unaddressed. For example, in some instances women are excluded
from customary land tenure systems, and are often left powerless in the face of project-led
displacements; as primary providers for their households, environmental impacts put both their food security and social status at risk; and research shows an increase of gender-based
violence in areas of natural resource extraction including domestic abuse, rape and sexual
assault. At a time when both corporations and states are being challenged to uphold international human rights standards, it is timely to ask how can these efforts benefit women from impacted communities, what can be done to mitigate and prevent gender specific impacts, and how we can guarantee the protection of women’s human rights in the troubled waters of natural resource extraction.

The Conference: “Beyond Good Business” brings together speakers and stakeholders from
corporate, State, academia and civil society to address the human rights dimension of
business operations. In the run-up to the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, and drawing on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), this conference will explore the big-picture and the day-to-day challenges faced by women impacted by extractivism worldwide: how can the UNGP be used to mitigate and prevent negative impacts on the lives and rights of women in resource extraction affected communities? What are the opportunities for women to access remedy and reparation? How can we ensure the implementation of the UNGP answers to women’s needs and challenges? What can be done to strengthen women’s rights both on the ground and at policy level?
The conference will seek to address these questions, and offer concrete solutions to the many
challenges encountered in the implementation of the UNGP, both on the ground and at policy
level. Specifically, the event will aim to:

  • Create understanding on the gender dimension of extraction impacts
  • Expose critical issues on human rights, security and gender-based violence linked to the
    industry with reference to the UNGP
  • Engage in solution-oriented conversation regarding the UNGP and other human rights
    initiatives with a variety of stakeholders to critically assess corporate social
    responsibility, state obligations and women’s rights
  • Discuss supportive measures for women human rights defenders in their efforts for
    justice in accordance with the third Pillar of the UNGP on access to remedy
  • Identify specific opportunities that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment
    in the context of natural resource extraction.

Who should attend? Professionals working in the fields of the extractive industries, protection of human rights activists, government, law students and academia

Contact: For information please e-mail

Provisional timetable and panels:

– 9.00-9.30: Registration

– 9.30-10.00: Keynote Welcome: Global Challenges in the context Natural
Resource Extraction

-10.00-11.15: Panel 1 – Experiences from women affected by NRE

– 11.15-11.30: Coffee Break

– 11.30-12.45: Panel 2 – Preventing and mitigating adverse impacts of NRE on
women’s lives and rights

-12.45-13.45: Lunch break

-13.45-15.00: Panel 3 – Access to Remedy, women’s rights and the UNGP

– 15.00-15.15: Coffee Break

– 15.30-16-30: Keynote conclusion and Plenary

– 16.30-17.30: Wine reception

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