Policies

Business Commitments to Respect Human Rights
Businesses should clearly outline their commitments to respect human rights, including environmental rights, occupational safety, and labour rights. These should be publicly available and communicated to all personnel, business partners, and other relevant parties.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights state: “As the basis for embedding their responsibility to respect human rights, business enterprises should express their commitment to meet this responsibility through a statement of policy”. The policy should: 

  • Be approved at the most senior level of the business enterprise
  • Be informed by relevant internal and/or external expertise
  • Stipulate the enterprise’s human rights expectations of personnel, business partners and other parties directly linked to its operations, products or services
  • Be publicly available and communicated internally and externally to all personnel, business partners and other relevant parties
  • Be reflected in operational policies and procedures necessary to embed it throughout the business enterprise

Many businesses already have commitments related to certain human rights topics, including:  

  • Occupational health and safety
  • Environmental management and protection
  • Labour rights and unions
  • Forced labour and modern slavery 
  • Engagement with affected communities 

Policies should be approved and endorsed by the highest levels of management within a company. It is also important to ensure that adequate time, training, and resources are allocated so that human rights policies are implemented both in management and on the ground. Middle management is particularly important for ensuring human rights policies are implemented in practice.

Benchmarks such as Know the Chain and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark evaluate companies based on the content and quality of their human rights policies. 

Pinned Articles

Organizing the Human Rights Function Within a Company

This UN Global Compact good practice note examines different models for how companies assign responsibility for human rights within the company, and compares relative merits of each model.

Latest Articles

Doing business with respect for human rights

Doing business with respect for human rights

‘Doing Business With Respect for Human Rights’ is a comprehensive guide designed for companies of all sizes, sectors and geographies. It is intended to equip readers with practical advice and real-life examples that help to translate the high-level expectations in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into concrete action.

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Gender Lens to the UNGPs: Good Practice in Croatia and North Macedonia

Gender Lens to the UNGPs: Good Practice in Croatia and North Macedonia

The objective of the project Fostering Business and human rights principles, is to support the economic and social rights in the business sector in Macedonia through the application of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights (UNGPs). The MAMFORCE METHOD© is a strategic tool aimed at changing the organisational culture and assisting companies in creating a supportive and inclusive work environment based on open communication, trust and appreciation of differences.

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Digging in the shadows: Eastern Europe and Central Asia’s opaque extractives industry

Digging in the shadows: Eastern Europe and Central Asia’s opaque extractives industry

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre analysed the human rights policies and performance of 30 extractives companies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with a focus on Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. In doing so, we aimed to draw attention to the major human rights risks and impacts within the region, as well as address the lack of information around business activities.

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