Australia: New report calls for businesses and investors to adopt a human rights policy and carry out human rights due diligence
"At the crossroads: 10 years of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia", September 2021
The report finds that over the past decade, there has been some progress towards implementation of aspects of the UNGPs in Australia by business and Government. [...] However, overall progress towards implementation of the UNGPs in Australia remains slow.
1. Australian businesses and institutional investors (asset owners and managers):
a. invest in building human rights knowledge and capacity within their business and actively consult with external experts and rights-holders in order to meaningfully implement the UNGPs.
b. implement the UNGPs, including by:
i. adopting a human rights policy and carrying out human rights due diligence to identify, address and remediate human rights risks and impacts of their business activities, relationships (including their supply chains), investment activities and investees
ii. establishing and participating in effective grievance mechanisms, to facilitate early and effective remedies for human rights harms in their operations, global supply chains and portfolios.
c. embed in their human rights due diligence processes consideration and engagement with the priority issues raised in this report [...]
2. Institutional investors (asset owners and managers): require investees to conduct human rights due diligence and work towards common, UNGP-aligned environmental, social and governance methodologies, benchmarks and metrics.
3. Australian Government: protect human rights by ensuring businesses meet the responsibility to respect human rights in accordance with the UNGPs [...]