UN Working Group issues report on human rights due diligence, with recommendations to governments, companies & investors

Full report to the UN General Assembly

Companion note 1: Clarification of terms around human rights due diligence

Companion note 2: Guidance to companies on human rights due diligence

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Report
19 October 2018

Full report: "Human rights due diligence in practice – building on what works and addressing the gaps"

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

In the present report, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises takes stock of business and government action to advance the implementation of corporate human rights due diligence as set out in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework. It highlights emerging good practices that should be built upon and scaled up in order to address gaps in current practice....Policy frameworks in emerging markets have also been inspired by the human rights due diligence concept of the Guiding Principles, such as in China and Indonesia. In the 20 national action plans on business and human rights that have been issued to date, Governments have reaffirmed the expectation that business enterprises in their territories or jurisdictions exercise human rights due diligence...According to human rights benchmarking and rating assessments, the majority of companies covered by the assessments do not demonstrate practices that meet the requirements set by the Guiding Principles. This may indicate that risks to workers and communities are not being managed adequately in spite of growing awareness and commitments....While some home Governments have introduced due diligence or disclosure legislation, such efforts also remain patchy. Related to that, even as civil society organizations and many business enterprises welcome legislation requiring disclosure on modern slavery and risks to human rights, there is a lack of harmonization and coordination between Governments pursuing this agenda...

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Article
18 October 2018

Companion Note 1: Corporate human rights due diligence – Background note elaborating on key aspects

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

This note is an annex to the Working Group’s General Assembly report, A/73/163, which takes stock of business and government action to advance the implementation of corporate human rights due diligence as set out in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework. The report highlights emerging good practices that should be built upon and scaled up in order to address gaps in current practice. The present note seeks to complement the report’s chapter II, which addresses key features of human rights due diligence and why it matters. It provides further background to the concept of human rights due diligence and a list of answers to some frequently asked questions. Further considerations are clarified in OHCHR’s Interpretive Guide on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. A separate companion paper (companion note II) by the Working Group contains lessons from getting started on corporate human rights due diligence and an overview of tools and resources. Scaling up effective human rights due diligence in business practice worldwide is a key objective for the Working Group. Further information on its thematic work on this topic is available at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/CorporateHRDueDiligence.aspx.

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Article
18 October 2018

Companion Note 2: Corporate human rights due diligence – Getting started, emerging practices, tools and resources

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

This note is an annex to the Working Group’s General Assembly report, A/73/163, which takes stock of business and government action to advance the implementation of corporate human rights due diligence as set out in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework. The report highlights emerging good practices that should be built upon and scaled up in order to address gaps in current practice. The present note includes lessons from getting started on corporate human rights due diligence and overview of tools and resources. A separate companion paper (companion note I) by the Working Group provides further background and answers to frequently asked questions about the human rights due diligence concept. Scaling up effective human rights due diligence in business practice worldwide is a key objective for the Working Group. Its thematic work on this topic is available at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/CorporateHRDueDiligence.aspx. OHCHR’s Interpretive Guide on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights provides detailed explanation of how to understand the Guiding Principles’ human rights due diligence standard.

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Article
18 October 2018

Executive summary

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

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Report
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Author: El Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre las empresas y los derechos humanos

En el presente informe, el Grupo de Trabajo sobre la cuestión de los derechos humanos y las empresas transnacionales y otras empresas hace un balance de las medidas adoptadas por las empresas y los Gobiernos para avanzar en la aplicación de la diligencia debida de las empresas en materia de derechos humanos conforme se establece en los Principios Rectores sobre las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos: Puesta en Práctica del Marco de las Naciones Unidas para “Proteger, Respetar y Remediar”. En él se señalan las buenas prácticas emergentes que es preciso consolidar y ampliar a fin de subsanar las deficiencias en las prácticas vigentes.

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Report
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Author: Groupe de travail des Nations Unies au sujet des entreprises et des droits de l'homme

Dans le présent rapport, le Groupe de travail sur la question des droits de l’homme et des sociétés transnationales et autres entreprises dresse l’état des mesures prises tant par les entreprises que par les gouvernements pour faire progresser la mise en œuvre de la diligence raisonnable en matière de droits de l’homme dans le monde de l’entreprise, telle qu’elle est envisagée dans les Principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’homme : mise en œuvre du cadre de référence « protéger, respecter et réparer » des Nations Unies. Le rapport met en lumière l’apparition de bonnes pratiques qu’il conviendrait de renforcer et de déployer à grande échelle afin de remédier aux lacunes que présentent les pratiques courantes.

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