Guiding Principles on business and human rights: implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework

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The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide a framework for implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework. Developed by the former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, the Guiding Principles outline the responsibilities of states and businesses in ensuring respect for human rights in the context of business activities. Here are the key elements of the Guiding Principles:1. State duty to protect: States have the primary responsibility to protect human rights within their jurisdictions. This includes enacting and enforcing laws and regulations that promote human rights, as well as providing access to effective remedies for victims of human rights abuses.2. Corporate responsibility to respect: Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights throughout their operations, regardless of the size or sector of their business. This means avoiding causing or contributing to human rights abuses and addressing any negative impacts they may have.3. Access to remedy: Both states and businesses should provide access to effective remedies for individuals or communities that have been adversely affected by business activities. This includes providing access to judicial, non-judicial, and operational-level grievance mechanisms to ensure that grievances are addressed and remedied.4. Human rights due diligence: Businesses should conduct human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for how they address their human rights impacts. This process involves assessing actual and potential human rights risks, integrating these considerations into policies and practices, tracking performance, and communicating efforts to stakeholders.5. Sector-specific guidance: The Guiding Principles recognize that certain industries or sectors may have specific human rights risks. Therefore, industry-specific guidance can be developed to assist businesses in addressing these risks and integrating human rights considerations into their operations.6. International cooperation: The Guiding Principles call for international cooperation to address business-related human rights issues effectively. States, businesses, civil society organizations, and international institutions should collaborate to promote human rights, share best practices, and develop collective solutions.7. Reporting and transparency: Businesses should publicly report on their human rights policies, practices, and performance. This transparency helps stakeholders assess and hold businesses accountable for their impacts on human rights.By following these principles, states and businesses can work together to ensure that business activities respect and promote human rights, prevent abuses, and provide remedies for any adverse impacts that may occur.

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