From the Blog
The Center takes on the most pressing issues at the intersection of business and human rights.
Global companies are central players in either improving or eroding respect for human rights. This is especially true when they operate in states with weak institutions and rule of law. In each aspect of our work, our focus is on how companies address human rights challenges in their core business operations. We start from the premise that sector-specific approaches to improve human rights make companies more sustainable, predictable, and profitable over the long term.
We support initiatives that develop and implement standards for human rights performance across a given sector. Since the mid-1990s, companies have come together with outside stakeholders that take collective action to address human rights problems. Examples of such initiatives in different sectors include:
- the Fair Labor Association (manufacturing)
- the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (extractives)
- the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers (private security)
In 2011, the UN endorsed a set of Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that set a broad foundation for these issues.
Governments should protect their citizens from human rights abuses, including by business
Companies have a responsibility to respect human rights
Victims of human rights abuse should have access to judicial and non-judicial remedies
The Center is helping shape the next phase in the evolution of business and human rights by encouraging the development of substantive standards in each industry that help define the responsibility to respect human rights. In our view, it is not enough for each company to be on its own "journey" when it comes to human rights; standards are needed to set and measure expectations of companies.
The Business and Human Rights Resource Center is a free, global knowledge hub that reveals the human rights performance and policy of over 5,600 companies in over 180 countries.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable is a coalition of human rights, environmental, labor, and development organizations that creates, promotes, and defends legal frameworks to ensure corporations respect human rights in their global operations.