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

From 27 September to 6 October, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights will undertake its first official country visit to Italy to assess Italian 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, fashion, retail, construction, and infrastructure logistics sectors.

“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 visit will include trips to Rome and the regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Lombardia, and Toscana. During these trips, the Working Group will engage in a constructive dialogue with a wide range of actors, including the Italian Government, local authorities, civil society representatives, human rights defenders, trade unions, representatives of business enterprises, and industry associations. Particular attention will be devoted to Italian efforts to apply the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and to the situation of vulnerable categories, such as women, migrant workers, and persons with disabilities.

At the end of the mission, on Wednesday 6 October at 12:00 pm, the Working Group will hold a press conference at the Istituto Luigi Sturzo to present preliminary observations from the visit (access will be strictly limited to journalists). A full report with findings and recommendations will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2022.