The United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights constitute a benchmark for companies on human rights performance and apply to all companies irrespective of having signed up to any voluntary framework or not.
Increasingly, companies have taken the step of adopting a formal company policy statement expressly referring to human rights. If your organisation hasn’t already, the pressure is on.
We have put together a list of top 10 reasons why companies should develop a human rights policy. These are as follows:
- to form a basis for embedding the responsibility to protect human rights, as identified by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, throughout all business functions
- to identify policy gaps and start a process that alerts the company to new areas of risk, within its own operations and in the supply chain
- to gain commercial benefits associated with good human rights practice, including:
• attracting investment,
• improving the procurement process and supplier relations, and
• drawing in top quality recruits
- to respond to both internal and external stakeholders’ expectations
- to provide evidence of the company’s commitment to support good human rights practices (for example, to meet requirements of non-financial reporting legislation)
- to demonstrate leadership on human rights, and be prepared for growing legal requirements around business and human rights
- to build trust with external stakeholders and address and understand their concerns
- to foster the development of in-house learning and management capacity to identify human rights risks and implement human rights standards
- to develop good and effective internal business practices
- to demonstrate compliance to obligations under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and/ or live up to the company’s commitment to the United Nations Global Compact or any other voluntary standard with requirements relating to the protection of human rights.
For a FREE guide introducing and outlining the key features of these two frameworks click here
(This list has been developed from Global Compact and UN Human Rights guide entitled ‘A guide for business: How to Develop a Human Rights Policy’)