On 27 July the Focal Group on Businesses and Human Rights made a statement and held a press conference to announce that they were stepping away from the process of creating the National Program for Businesses and Human Rights (PNEDH) because the proposal from the Mexican government did not meet the international standards established by the United Nations Guiding Principles.
The PNEDH will act as the National Action Plan on Businesses and Human Rights in Mexico, a tool that is recommended by the UN as a part of the responsibility of each state to provide information about and implement the Guiding Principles. It is important to remember that on 2 September 2015 the Secretary of the Interior created the National Working Group on Businesses and Human Rights (National Group) in order to create the Program, and they have organized several meetings and forums.
The Focal Group has stated that oral and written contributions from these forums, as well as the Diagnosis of the Independent Baseline for the implementation of the Guiding Principles have not been included in the final draft created by the Government. They expressed concern that, “with the serious human rights crisis in the country, the Program does not have solid protection mechanisms for human rights defenders and journalists, and does not recognize whistleblowers as recommended by civil society.
It also does not urge businesses to make public statements against attacks and intimidations of these actors, as recommended in the UN Working Group on Businesses and Human Rights.”
The Focal Group is comprised of the Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC), the Committee for the Integral Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (Código DH), the Center for Information on Businesses and Human Rights (CIEDH), the Project on Organization, Development, Education and Investigation (PODER), Oxfam Mexico, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) and Services and Assessment for Peace (Serapaz), and is accompanied by the Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment (AIDA) and PBI.
The Group stated that they will continue to follow the implementation process and they are committed to improving public policy with regard to businesses and human rights.