Human Rights

  • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

The responsibility for human rights does not rest with governments or nation states alone. Human rights issues are important both for individuals and the organisations that they create.

As part of its commitment to the Global Compact, the business community has a responsibility to uphold human rights both in the workplace and more broadly within its sphere of influence. A growing moral imperative to behave responsibly is allied to the recognition that a good human rights record can support improved business performance.

Women’s Empowerment Principles

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are a set of Principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles emphasise the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and business’ role in sustainable development.

For information on the Women’s Empowerment Principles, please click here

Children’s Rights and Business Principles

On 24 June 2010, UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children launched a process to develop a set of Principles offering concrete guidance on what business can do to respect and support children’s rights.

The Principles provide a coherent set of practical considerations that business can apply throughout their operations. Whether in the workplace, marketplace or community, the Children’s Principles aim to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative ramifications that their activities may have on children. The Children’s Rights & Business Principles can be downloaded here.

Children’s Rights & Business Principles Global Release Date – 12 March 2012: The Principles have been finalized and were released on 12 March 2012 in London. The event brought together leading companies and experts to discuss and showcase ways in which business can respect and support children’s rights in their core operations. The objective of the event was to officially release the Children’s Rights and Business Principles; to create awareness of the Principles and to advocate for the corporate sector to use the Principles. For more information, click here.

For information on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, please click here. For information on engagement opportunities, please email childrensprinciples@unglobalcompact.org.

Human Rights Impact Assessment and Management (HRIAM)

The UN Global Compact in collaboration with IBLF has designed an interactive online tool to provide companies with guidance on how to assess how to assess and manage human rights risks and impacts of their business activities.

The Guide to HRIAM can be accessed free of charge, following registration. Please click here for access HRIAM.

For further information and guidance on human rights issues, please visit the following:

Or alternatively, you can look at the Global Compact’s best business practice section here.

Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum

Companies are encouraged to participate in an online multi-stakeholder Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum for multi-national corporations. The forum aims to enhance our collective understanding of human rights themes and identify practical approaches to real-world dilemmas that challenge responsible business. It also provides links to other relevant websites, resources and initiatives. The forum engages and invites feedback on practices from different stakeholders including businesses, international organisations, civil society, academics, local communities and more. To visit the forum, click here.

For more information on engagement opportunities, please also visit the Global Compact website here.

Global Business Initiative

Established in 2009 for an initial four year period, the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) is a project supporting the exchange of ideas, challenges and good practices in relation to business respect for human rights. In the spirit of — and in collaboration with — the United Nations Global Compact, GBI is a business-led initiative with a focus on bringing together business leaders from multiple geographic regions and sectors. GBI convenes business-to-business roundtables, supports human rights efforts of the Global Compact Local Networks and promotes tools in relation to the Global Compact human rights principles. GBI also collaborates with and promotes the work of the Global Compact Human Rights Working Group. For more information on the initiative, please click here.

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

In early 2012, a group of Global Compact LEAD companies established a Taskforce and initiated a project to develop guidance for business to act in ways that respect and support indigenous peoples’ rights, according to international standards and norms such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Taskforce is currently working with the UN Global Compact Office and indigenous advisors to develop a guide for business to respect and support the rights set out in the UNDRIP. For further information, click here.