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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Canada Tibet Committee raises Tibet issue with UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

May 29, 2017

Canada Tibet Committee, May 23, 2017 - The Canada Tibet Committee today participated in a consultative meeting with Canadian civil society groups and members of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights.  The Working Group is currently on its first official visit to Canada.

The Working Group delegation is assessing how the Canadian Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities under with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

 

In addressing the Working Group, CTC spokesperson for economic rights Kunchok Yaklha said “as the Government of Canada moves forward on a free trade agreement with China, it is important to remember that while Canadians are consulted about their views, Tibetans are not consulted and do not have the right to dissent.” Ms. Yaklha added that “Canadian economic policy should be accountable for the impact it has on human rights - even when that impact is experienced beyond our borders in places without freedom such as Tibet.”   

The Guiding Principles, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, provide an authoritative framework to prevent and address adverse human rights risks and impacts of business activities and to ensure that victims have access to effective remedy.

While in Canada, the Working Group met with government, business associations, civil society and trade union representatives, human rights defenders and members of indigenous communities

 “We will give attention to the situations of groups that may be particularly vulnerable to business-related human rights abuse,” Working Group member Anita Ramasastry said.

The experts, who visit the country at the invitation of the Canadian Government, held meetings in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Williams Lake, Vancouver, and Calgary.  Findings from the country visit and recommendations will be presented in an official report to be presented to the Human Rights Council.

The Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. Its current members are: Mr. Michael Addo (current Chairperson), Mr. Surya Deva (current vice chair), Mr. Dante Pesce, Ms. Anita Ramasastry and Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga.

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