World Water Week 2013: Actions by companies

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre co-hosts workshop at 2014 ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF), with workshop outputs forming part of Conference Statement

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre took part in this year’s ACSC/APF held in Yangon, Myanmar by co-hosting one of 36 workshops with Altsean-Burma and Community Resource Centre – Thailand. Titled “Communities front and center: Peaceful and effective solutions for business-related human rights abuses”, the workshop brought together key actors in a practical discussion on ways by which communities could protect their rights and seek justice for abuses.

The ACSC/APF is a civil society led event held every year before the ASEAN Summit. This year’s conference has been described by organizers as the largest ever, with reportedly over 3,000 people in attendance. More information about the conference is available here:

The three speakers spoke about their experiences in using accountability mechanisms and tools at local, regional and international levels.

Thant Zin from Dawei Development Association (Myanmar) talked about the range of local and international actions their community has taken in response to social and environmental harms linked to the planned Dawei Special Economic Zone, highlighting successes and challenges. His slides are available here.

Sor Rattanamanee Polkla, a lawyer from the Community Resource Center – Thailand, shared about her experience in representing Thai communities in court cases, including their successful litigation of the Khuha mining case, and the transnational case filed against the Thai government for the social and environmental impacts of the Xayaburi Dam in Laos. Her slides are available here.

Komala Ramachandra from Accountability Counsel provided insight on the processes involved in invoking non-judicial accountability mechanisms at international level, likewise highlighting successes and challenges, as well as the impact that these actions have in addressing cases, setting norms and changing attitudes. Her slides are available here.

Debbie Stothard from Altsean-Burma moderated.

A summary of the proceedings (available here) was submitted to the ACSC/APF Drafting Committee and served as input for the drafting of the Conference Statement, available here.

Related items:

“Over 3,000 Participants at Largest Ever ASEAN Civil Society Conference / ASEAN Peoples’ Forum”, Burma Partnership, 24 Mar 2014 

“Largest-ever ASEAN civil society conference urges regional governments to establish human rights protection mechanisms”, FIDH, 25 Mar 2014

ASEAN joins in hands in banning China’s dam projects”, Eleven Myanmar, 22 Mar 2014