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

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The United Nations “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework on Business and Human Rights provides guidance for states and businesses on how to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts associated with business activities. The framework consists of three core principles that work together to ensure human rights are protected and respected in the context of business operations. These principles are as follows:

  1. The State’s duty to protect human rights:
    The first principle emphasizes the role of the state in protecting human rights within its territory and jurisdiction. States are responsible for ensuring that laws, regulations, and policies are in place to prevent human rights abuses by businesses. They should establish a legal and regulatory framework that sets clear expectations for business conduct regarding human rights.

To implement this principle, states should enact and enforce laws that require businesses to respect human rights, conduct human rights due diligence, and provide access to effective remedies for victims of human rights abuses. They should also establish mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing compliance with human rights standards.

  1. The Corporate responsibility to respect human rights:
    The second principle recognizes that businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights throughout their operations, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they operate. This means that businesses should avoid causing or contributing to human rights abuses and address any adverse impacts they may have on human rights.

To implement this principle, businesses should adopt and implement human rights policies that are consistent with internationally recognized standards. They should also conduct human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, and mitigate potential human rights risks and impacts. If abuses occur, businesses should provide for or cooperate in remediation.

  1. Access to remedies:
    The third principle highlights the importance of ensuring that victims of human rights abuses have access to effective remedies. Both states and businesses have a responsibility to provide access to appropriate grievance mechanisms and remedies for individuals or communities adversely affected by business activities.

To implement this principle, states should establish judicial, administrative, and non-judicial grievance mechanisms that are accessible, impartial, and effective. Businesses should cooperate with these mechanisms and provide remedies to those harmed by their operations. They should also establish their own grievance mechanisms and ensure that affected individuals or communities can seek and obtain remedy.

Overall, implementing the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework requires collaboration between states, businesses, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders. It promotes a shared responsibility approach to ensuring that business activities respect and protect human rights, and that adequate remedies are available for those adversely affected.

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