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20 Sep 2021

Arvind Ganesan on behalf of Human Rights Watch

In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Arvind Ganesan on behalf of Human Rights Watch

We are deeply saddened by the passing of John Ruggie, a seminal figure on Business and Human Rights. Our thoughts are with his family.

For more than twenty years, John was a key voice calling for responsible business and his voice will be sorely missed. From his launch of the Global Compact in the late 1990s, to the release of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in 2011, and everything that followed, he constantly looked for ways to make companies meet their responsibilities. The UNGPs made it clear that the world expected companies to respect human rights—a far cry from years before when many companies thought they had no such responsibility.   

John’s legacy will not be forgotten. As we go forward, we hope to make those expectations on companies permanent, unavoidable, and mandatory as we all try to build a more just world that ensures that the powerful cannot exploit the vulnerable and that profit cannot be an excuse for abuse.