B+HR to the Streets: EU and UNDP Malaysia launch interactive art mural as part of Human Rights Day 2022

December 9, 2022

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KUALA LUMPUR, 9 DECEMBER 2022 – With the aim to raise awareness and introduce discourse on business and human rights (BHR) in Malaysia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the European Union Delegation to Malaysia (EU) and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), presented an interactive BHR- themed mural in the bustling streets of Bukit Bintang as part of ongoing efforts to promote responsible business practices across Asia. The mural is developed in collaboration with Malaysia’s renowned graffiti artist, Akid One, known for his portrait-style murals. The launch of the mural coincides with Human Rights Day 2022, which is observed on December 10 annually.

During the launch event, Mr. Niloy Banerjee, UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam said, “the global Business and Human Rights agenda is undergoing an important shift from words to actions. We are calling upon all, especially the business community, to fully integrate the values of ‘Protect, Respect, Remedy’ as captured in the UN Guiding Principles, into their DNA. Malaysia can be a leader in Asia on this front.”

Mr. Timo Goosmann, Deputy Head of Mission at the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, reinforces the importance of promoting responsible business practices in Malaysia, a major producer of energy and agricultural commodities in the region.

The Business + Human Rights art mural at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Passerbys can interact with the mural with this link: https://undp-bhr.org, using their mobile camera.

(From L-R) Mr. Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam; YM Tengku Mohamed Fauzi bin Tengku Abdul Hamid, Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM); and Mr Timo Goosmann, Deputy Head of Mission, EU Delegation to Malaysia.

“EU is ready to be a trusted partner to businesses in Malaysia to promote responsible business practices in line with the principles and values of human rights and Sustainable Development Goals. At the EU, we understand the need for the assistance and support to transition towards a more equal and level playing field for industry and better access to justice for victims affected. I strongly believe Malaysia will be a strategic partner for the EU to integrate these efforts across all levels of industries in this region.”

The one-of-a-kind mural, complemented with interactive capabilities, is launched as part of efforts to heighten the communication and public diplomacy profile of the Business and Human Rights agenda, thereby building public interest and support of responsible business in the country. The initiative is driven under the Business and Human Rights Asia (B+HR Asia) project, an EU-funded regional initiative that promotes sustainable economic growth through the three pillars of the United Nations Guiding Principles. It focuses on key activities such as regional cooperation and exchanges on lessons learned in furtherance of best policy practice, enabling public participation in the business and human rights agenda, and promoting access to remedy for rights-holders and the prevention of future human rights abuses. In Malaysia, UNDP is partnering with the Legal Affairs Division, Prime Minister’s Department and SUHAKAM to develop a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, in line with the guidance from the UN Working Group on BHR.

Malaysians are encouraged to pay a visit to the mural to help spark conversation on the human rights and environmental risks that may accompany industry operations. The mural provides a glimpse into some of the most important business and human rights issues in Malaysia today - once a mobile device is pointed at it.

The campaign kicks off today and will run for one month. To find out more on B+HR Asia, please follow us on Twitter @BizHRAsia_UNDP or @MyUNDP.