UN Working Group to assess impact of business operations on human rights and environment: Italy


The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights will undertake its first official country visit to Italy from 27 September to 6 October to assess efforts to identify, prevent and address adverse impacts of business operations on human rights and the environment.

Italy is home to a range of small and medium-sized companies as well as major multinational companies in the agriculture, textile, retail, construction and infrastructure logistics sectors, as well as in the fashion industry.

“The Italian Government’s invitation is very timely as it coincides with the planned revision of the national action plan on business and human rights as well as the G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held in Rome on 30-31 October 2021. This demonstrates the commitment of the Government to promote corporate respect for human rights and we look forward to learning about the concrete steps taken or proposed to achieve this goal,” said Surya Deva, Chairperson of the Working Group visiting the country.

The Working Group will look at efforts of the Italian Government and businesses to implement their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Working Group will pay special attention to the situation of individuals and communities who are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses, including women, migrant workers and persons with disabilities, as well as to the environmental impact of business activities. The visit will include trips to Rome and the regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Lombardia and Toscana.

“In addition to engaging in a constructive dialogue with various Government ministries and local authorities, we will meet a range of civil society actors, human rights defenders and trade unions, as well as representatives of business enterprises and industry associations,” Deva noted.

At the end of the mission on Wednesday 6 October at 12:00 pm the Working Group will hold a press conference to present preliminary observations from the visit. It will be held at Istituto Luigi Sturzo. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group will present a full report of its findings and recommendations concerning this visit to the Human Rights Council in June 2022.

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