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Big Issues

The Big Issues section contains a selection of portals, each of which brings together the latest news, resources and tools on subjects of particular interest to the business and human rights movement. They are curated by our staff based all around the globe.

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COVID-19

COVID-19 has spread across the globe impacting millions of people. The outbreak has been accompanied by waves of misinformation, fears of increased government surveillance and factory shutdowns. You can find the latest news on the implications of the outbreak for business and human rights here.

COVID-19: Supply Chain Workers

Impacts on supply chain workers, vulnerable to job losses, infection and worsening labour conditions.

COVID-19: Migrant Workers

Latest news on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on migrant workers

COVID-19: Human Rights Defenders & Civic Freedoms

Impacts on human rights defenders raising concerns about business

Natural Resources

Energy, minerals, land and water sit at the heart of the transition to low-carbon economies, and at the start of every supply chain. However, the use of our planet's resources is all too often entwined with human rights abuse. Find out why we must ensure that the transition is both fast, and fair.

Renewable Energy

A just transition to a net-zero carbon economy

Extractives & Transition Minerals

Human rights impacts of the extractive industries and industry-specific initiatives to improve companies’ human rights practices

Agriculture

Shedding light on abuses linked to the agribusiness sector and building responsible practices

Technology & Human Rights

Technology offers powerful tools for society, but restrictions to digital freedom, and developments in artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, raise serious concerns about the impacts on human rights and the future of work.

Digital Freedom

Latest news and developments on declining digital freedom and key reports, guidance and tools

Gig Economy

Human rights implications and legal and policy rights protection frameworks for gig economy workers

Automation

Impacts of growing automation and mechanisation on work and human rights

Mandatory Due Diligence

The growing worldwide movement to legally require companies to undertake human rights due diligence.

National & Regional Developments on mHRDD

Find initiatives tracking and analysing legal developments

Companies & Investors in Support of mHRDD

Explore statements and calls for legislation and regulation

Gender, Business & Human Rights

Applying an intersectional approach is the most powerful way to tackle unfair treatment and transform the status quo. Gender justice must lie at the heart of business and human rights.

Tools & Guidance

Tools and guidance to strengthen connections between gender, business and human rights.

Research & Analysis

Unpack the gendered dimensions of different issues

Webinars, Videos & Podcasts

Watch and listen to different issues related to gender, business and human rights

UN Guiding Principles

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations.

UNGPs Guidance & Implementation

See how companies and governments should implement the UNGPs

Background & History of Guiding Principles

Find out how the UN Guiding Principles came to exist

Text of the Guiding Principles

The full text of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Labour Rights

The latest news on labour rights and our work on supporting and advancing the labour rights demands of workers in global supply chains.

Modern Slavery

Tracking compliance with modern slavery legislation, strengthening corporate transparency and accountability and engaging brands to combat modern slavery.

Beyond Social Auditing

Numerous reports have found the social audits to be ineffective in capturing human rights abuses. What are the solutions and options for reform?

Human Rights Defenders & Civic Freedoms

HRDs’ work is essential to the business and human rights movement because of their critical importance for ensuring corporate responsibility and accountability. Yet, attacks on them are growing. This hub brings together news on these advocates and communities - specifically on land, environmental and labour defenders, guidance for companies and investors, and supportive business actions. It also links to our database of attacks and interview series.

Chinese Investment Overseas

Guidance, cases and company resources for Chinese companies overseas.

Guidance by Government, Business and Civil Society

Explore measures, initiatives and commentary

Corporate Legal Accountability

This hub on corporate legal accountability for human rights abuses highlights significant lawsuits in all parts of the world.

Binding Treaty

In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council took steps to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Read about the latest developments, our debate series, and wider steps towards Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence.

Intergovernmental Working Group

The open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (IGWG) was mandated to elaborate an international legally binding instrument. This page includes resources on sessions and developments from the IGWG.

Statements, Initiatives & Commentaries

From NGOs, academics, governments and thought leaders

Second Revised Draft: Unofficial Summary

This unofficial summary of the Second Revised Draft of the Binding Treaty includes core elements on rights of victims, human rights due diligence, legal liability of businesses and access to justice.

Climate Justice

Business has an essential role to play in tackling the climate crisis.

Who's Who: Climate, Business & Human Rights

Organizations active at the intersection of climate change, human rights and business

Introduction: Links between Climate Change & Human Rights

Explore reports, principles, pledges & videos

Fossil fuel responsibility

Improving energy efficiency of business operations and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy

Gulf Business & Human Rights

There are an estimated 20 million migrant workers in the Gulf; they account for 10% migrants globally and up to 90% of the manual labour force in the Gulf. Despite making significant contributions to the economic development of their host countries, migrant workers face abuse, discrimination and exploitation by unscrupulous employers, as well as significant obstacles to access justice and remedy.

Migrant Workers in Qatar and the UAE

How are construction companies and hotel brands impacting the rights of migrant workers in Qatar and the UAE? We track company operations, survey their human rights performance, and empower advocates in civil society and business to address labour exploitation.

Allegations of Labour Abuse Against Gulf Migrant Workers

The Allegations Tracker records publicly reported cases of human and labour rights abuse committed by businesses against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. These numbers are based on publicly reported allegations of labour rights abuse against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE), in which businesses are implicated. The actual numbers of incidents of abuse and affected migrant workers are believed to be higher.

Pacific Business & Human Rights

Building visibility on business and human rights challenges in the resource-rich Pacific region, where human rights abuses by companies have historically flown under the radar.

Voices from the Ground

Interviews with local activists, leaders and human rights defenders working in the Pacific region

Maritime Industry

Labour rights issues and human rights abuses in the maritime industry with a focus on seafaring, fishing and shipbreaking.

UN Working Group

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights was established to promote and support the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.

Country Visits

The UN Working Group regularly conducts country visits to investigate business and human rights issues.

Making submissions

Where and how to