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Previous Consultations (May/June 2012)

As part of the ongoing process to develop useful, practical, sector-specific guidance on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Project Team has developed a guidance template to assist in the preparation of consultation drafts of each of the three sector documents. The consultation drafts will be made available on this website in early-December 2012.

The Project Team is committed to multi-stakeholder consultation through each phase of the project and looks forward to receiving comments on the draft sector documents from early-December 2012 through to the end of January 2013. Following the comment period, final versions of the sector guidance documents will be revised, completed and released in April 2013.

Stakeholders should note that the guidance template is intended only as a tool in the drafting process to ensure consistency across the three sector documents, and the lengths of the sections in the template do not necessarily reflect the proportionate length of the sections in each final 30 page sector guidance document.

The following sections provide a description of the consultation process as well as public reports and other documents produced to date.

First Multistakeholder Sector Roundtables, 30 May – 1 June 2012, Brussels:

Download the Roundtable report for the:

Document PDF, 53 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

Document PDF, 55 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

Document PDF, 53 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

The Project Team are facilitating two sets of multistakeholder roundtables for each sector, bringing together experts from business, civil society, trade unions and other key stakeholder groups. The first set of roundtables was held from 30 May – 1 June 2012, with one day per sector. A short discussion paper based on early stage research (see below) was used to stimulate discussion at each roundtable .

The purpose of the roundtables was to elicit a broad range of perspectives on the leading issues, challenges and opportunities faced by each sector in meeting the responsibility to respect under the UN Guiding Principles. The Project Team produced short reports of the discussion at each roundtable.

Discussion Papers on key human rights impacts, contextual factors and process challenges for First Roundtables:

Download the Sector-Specific Discussion paper for:

Document PDF, 55 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

Document PDF, 53 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

Document PDF, 53 downloads, Jun 05, 2014

At the end of May, the Project Team shared for public comment a discussion paper for each sector outlining some of the key human rights impacts, contextual factors and process challenges raised by stakeholders in interviews and research to date.

The papers do not represent fixed conclusions on the part of the Project Team, but instead highlight a number of key issues for further exploration and enquiry as part of the research phase before turning to the drafting of the sector guidance documents themselves. The purpose of the papers was to stimulate focused discussion at the first of two sets of multistakeholder roundtables in Brussels (see above), as well as from other interested stakeholders through an on-line public consultation.

See all submissions received to the consultation here.

Sector Selection:

The European Commission announced in January 2012 that IHRB and Shift had been selected to carry out the project of developing sector-specific human rights guidance on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for the European Commission. The IHRB and Shift Project Team’s first project task was to carry out a public consultation on the selection of the three sectors based on a set of objective assessment criteria. In February 2012 the Commission announced that the three sectors to be the focus of the forthcoming guidance would be for the employment and recruitment agencies, ICT and oil and gas sectors.


Respect for human rights is part of the recipe for modern business excellence. This guidance meets global standards agreed in the UN while leaving enterprises the necessary flexibility to adapt their approach to their own particular circumstances.
- Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry

Business is an increasingly important player in the world of human rights. This guidance aims to help enterprises in Europe and elsewhere to meet the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as defined by the UN and strongly endorsed by the EU.
- Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were derived, on the one hand, from universal human rights standards and, on the other, from real world experience. Human rights, like life itself, cannot be reduced to a checklist or to simple slogans. It is only through understanding and reflection that the GPs can become “simple” and applicable. These Guidance publications are designed to further that process.
- Jim Baker, Council of Global Unions

Dozens of sectoral guides and tools on how to implement the UN Guiding Principles are being produced. This is a solid indicator of the relevance and high demand for the Guiding Principles. Now users want to know whether the practical guides are actually aligned with Guiding Principles. A best practice example of such alignment are the new EC Sectoral Guidelines. They capture the essence of the Guiding Principles faithfully, they refer to the interdependence of the State, corporate and remedy pillars, and were formulated after technical research, expert consultations and multi-stakeholder dialogue processes with State, business and civil society actors from across the globe. They will no doubt be a valuable source for practitioners and affected persons alike.
- Alexandra Guáqueta, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

The three sector guides are comprehensive compendiums which contribute to helping companies in those sectors and beyond gain understanding of the scope of the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
- Brent Wilton, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)

Our Mission

The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is a global centre of excellence and expertise (a think & do tank) on the relationship between business and internationally proclaimed human rights standards.

We work to shape policy, advance practice and strengthen accountability to ensure the activities of companies do not contribute to human rights abuses, and in fact lead to positive outcomes.

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