Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UN Human Rights Council 55 – UK statement on human rights and the environment [March 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 7 March 2024.

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. UK Statement at the 55th Human Rights Council.

Thank you, Mr President.

The United Kingdom welcomes today’s dialogue with the Special Rapporteur and notes with appreciation his latest report, including the extensive recommendations for States to consider supporting businesses to better protect our planet.

The UK government is clear that it expects all UK businesses to respect human rights throughout their operations, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UNGPs clearly set out the duties of States (in which business enterprises are domiciled or operating) and responsibilities of business enterprises to prevent, address, and remedy human rights abuses in business operations and global supply chains.

The UK welcomes the report’s attention to the importance of transparency and disclosure. Coordination in sustainability disclosures and reporting requirements encourages sectors to demonstrate socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. The UK is introducing due diligence legislation through the Environment Act to help tackle illegal deforestation in our supply chains. This is part of a wider package of measures to increase our sustainability practices and contribute to global efforts to protect forests and other ecosystems.

Special Rapporteur,

How can we encourage an appropriate balance of legal and voluntary measures for positive business impact on human rights and the environment?

Thank you.