Understanding BHR

The Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework
Business and human rights recognizes that while businesses can be powerful drivers of development and the realization of economic rights, they can also have adverse impacts on workers, local communities, and other rights-holders. 

“Business and human rights” is the idea that all businesses, regardless of factors such as size and location, should respect human rights such as those to freedom of association, a clean and healthy environment, and freedom from forced labour. Business and human rights (BHR) recognizes that while businesses can be powerful drivers of development and the realization of economic rights, they can also have adverse impacts on workers, local communities, and other rights-holders. 

The business and human rights framework is set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). You can read more about the UNGPs here. Governments, civil society, international organizations, and multinational corporations have increasingly recognized the importance of BHR in recent years; these developments are being translated into national law, international legal frameworks, business norms, and voluntary initiatives. Customers are also increasingly demanding that the businesses they support have respect for human rights. 

Business and human rights also overlaps with a number of other agendas, including environmentalism, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and anticorruption; read more here

You can read more about State duty to protect here and business responsibility to respect here. You can also read about access to remedy — which should be provided through both State and non-State mechanisms — here

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Key Terms on Business and Human Rights

This glossary provides standard definitions for key terminology on the topic of business and human rights.

Introduction to Salient Human Rights Issues

Salient human rights issues: The human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities and business relationships.

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Translations

The UNGPs are currently available in English, Russian, and Serbian.

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