The first Asia-Pacific consultation on Draft Principles for Dignity in the Built Environment has given the Institute and its research partners a flying start on a project to lead the construction sector towards a more socially sustainable future.

The deterioration and poor enforcement of standards has enormous financial and reputational costs, and most importantly, it is costing lives.

Advocacy group Mates In Construction reports the Australian construction sector loses a worker to suicide every second day. The Draft Principles put people at the centre – and consider the human impacts at each step of the built environment lifecycle.

The Australian Human Rights Institute, The Institute for Human Rights and Business, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian law, and Rafto Foundation for Human Rights are consulting on the Draft Principles to finalise them and inspire action.

The Principles include recommendations for national and local governments, investors and developers, architects and design firms, construction and engineering companies, building maintenance and technology firms.

The first consultation invited a group of women leaders representing this cross-section of players in the built environment to give feedback on the Principles and how they could be applied.

Business is also being invited to partner on research to trace a project from conception to completion to better understand the impact of the Principles in action.

The Institute's Director, Professor Louise Chappell, said the first consultation was just the beginning of a conversation on ideas to bring about positive change in built environment sectors, with further meetings to be held in 2020.

The final Principles will be launched at the Sydney Opera House in September 2020, with an event that brings together the coalition research partners and industry leaders from around the globe to unveil the final principles, and a vision of dignity and inclusion.

Listen to this IHRB Podcast for a discussion on dignity in the built environment, featuring Professor Louise Chappell and Dr Natalie Galea: