Our Mission: The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is dedicated to being a global centre of excellence and expertise on the relationship between business and internationally proclaimed human rights standards...more

IHRB Reports

Workshops on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational 
Enterprises in Brazil

Workshops on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in Brazil
24 March 2014
The Brazilian, Norwegian and UK NCPs have established a productive collaboration to exchange and learn from each other’s experiences, as encouraged by the OECD Guidelines’ Implementation Procedures. In 2013, the three NCPs held an awareness raising workshop in Brasilia with various actors, including government, business, trade unions and academia. This year, the Brazilian NCP decided to focus on an awareness-raising event targeted at business.

New Report: State of Play - Human Rights in the Political Economy of States: Avenues for Application

State of Play - Human Rights in the Political Economy of States: Avenues for Application
18 March 2014
This report describes the nexus between the political and economic interests of the State, analysing the relationship between the, at times, competing social and economic goals of the State, and some of the motivations, opportunities and risks involved.

Responsibility and Rights: The Glasgow Commonwealth Games | Upholding Human Rights, Preventing Forced Labour and Trafficking - Meeting Report

Responsibility and Rights: The Glasgow Commonwealth Games | Upholding Human Rights, Preventing Forced Labour and Trafficking - Meeting Report
18 December 2013
On 22 October 2013 in Glasgow, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Anti-Slavery International and the Institute for Human Rights and Business jointly convened policy makers, business representatives and other organisations to discuss and share information about human rights and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, particularly issues concerning human trafficking, forced labour and the role of public procurement.

Mega Sporting Events

Striving for Excellence: Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights
12 November 2013
This is the second in a series of occasional papers by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and focuses on the breadth of human rights opportunities and risks across the life-cycle of Mega Sporting Events. Papers in this series provide independent analysis and policy recommendations concerning timely subjects on the business and human rights agenda from the perspective of IHRB staff members and research fellows.

Corporate Responses to Hate Speech in the 2013 Kenyan Presidential Elections. Case Study: Safaricom

Corporate Responses to Hate Speech in the 2013 Kenyan Presidential Elections. Case Study: Safaricom
05 November 2013
This week the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is launching the first in a series of case studies as part of its “Digital Dangers” project examining how ICT companies understand and act on their responsibilities to prevent human rights abuses linked to the use of digital technology.

Fees and IDs: Tackling recruitment fees and confiscation of workers' passports

Fees and IDs: Tackling recruitment fees and confiscation of workers' passports
September 2013
Human trafficking and forced labour are huge problems on a global scale. An estimated 20.9 million men, women and children worldwide are in forced labour. This report looks at the ways that business can mitigate the problems of recruitment fees and confiscation of workers' passports.

European Commission Human Rights Sector Guides: Oil & Gas, ICT and Employment & Recruitment Agencies

European Commission Human Rights Sector Guides: Oil & Gas, ICT and Employment & Recruitment Agencies
June 2013
The European Commission's three guides on implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for Employment & Recruitment agencies, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) companies and Oil & Gas companies were developed over 18 months by IHRB and Shift through extensive research and multistakeholder consultation with representatives from the three industries as well as governments, trade unions, civil society, academia and other experts.

Dialogue, Opportunities and Risks in
Business-to-Community and Business-to-Business Relationships in Myanmar

Dialogue, Opportunities and Risks in Business-to-Community and Business-to-Business Relationships in Myanmar/Burma
April 2013
A report of two multi-stakeholder workshops on responsible investment in Myanmar: The 'Business-to-Community Relationships' workshop took place on 11 December 2012 and the 'Opportunities & Risks in Business-to-Business Relationships' workshop took place on 14 December 2012.

Update on OECD National Contact Points and the Extractive Sector

Update on the role of OECD National Contact Points with regard to the extractive sectors
London, 22 March 2013
A report on the second meeting of stakeholders, since the establishment of the updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines) in 2011. The participants discussed progress since the March 2012 meeting and in particular looked at the “proactive agenda” as it might relate to high-risk investment contexts.

Investing the Rights Way

Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights
March 4th 2013
This Guide provides practical insights into how the globally accepted framework of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can help investors assess and address human rights risks in their portfolios and more effectively benchmark and engage the companies they hold. It addresses mainstream investors across all asset classes and provides an overview of key developments, standards and resources.

Burma/Myanmar, business and human rights: setting standards for responsible business

Burma/Myanmar, Business and Human Rights: Setting Standards for Responsible Business
January 14th 2013
From 7–9 November 2012, representatives of international and local business, civil society experts from Burma/Myanmar and abroad, as well as policy-makers from governments met at Wilton Park to discuss the challenges in conducting “responsible investment”. The consensus was that the political changes are necessary, desirable, positive, and exceptional.

Responsible Investment in Myanmar

Responsible Investment in Myanmar: The Human Rights Dimension
(Burmese translation)

January 2013
This is the first in a series of Occasional Papers by the Institute for Human Rights and Business, now available in Burmese. Papers in this series will provide independent analysis and policy recommendations concerning timely subjects on the business and human rights agenda from the perspectives of IHRB staff members and research fellows.

State of Play: The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in Business Relationships

State of Play: The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in Business Relationships
December 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) take stock of efforts by a group of 14 international companies to address the human rights impacts associated with their daily interactions with business partners of all sizes around the world. The joint report examines how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can and should inform business relationships in different sectors and locations across the world.

Responsible Investment in Myanmar

Responsible Investment in Myanmar: The Human Rights Dimension
September 2012
This is the first in a series of Occasional Papers by the Institute for Human Rights and Business. Papers in this series will provide independent analysis and policy recommendations concerning timely subjects on the business and human rights agenda from the perspectives of IHRB staff members and research fellows.

Report by IHRB’s Margaret Wachenfeld and Scott Jerbi

Business and human rights: implementing the Guiding Principles one year on
July 26th 2012
Report by IHRB’s Senior Legal Advisor Margaret Wachenfeld and IHRB's Director of Communications Scott Jerbi.

Frameworks for Change - Tourism and Human Rights

Frameworks for Change: The Tourism Industry and Human Rights
May 29th, 2012
Report from roundtable convened by IHRB and Tourism Concern to explore what it means for the tourism industry to take a human rights approach, and why this is integral to sustainability. The meeting highlighted the need for the sector to align with international human rights standards, in particular, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

From Principles to Practice: The European Union operationalizing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

From Principles to Practice: The European Union operationalizing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
May 7th, 2012
Report of the Expert Conference hosted by the Danish EU Presidency in Copenhagen on 7-8 May 2012. Business and Human Rights is an idea for which time has now come. At the Conference there was a general call for greater accountability, greater transparency and for more attention on how to prevent human rights abuses from occurring through due diligence.

OECD National Contact Points and the Extractive Sector

OECD National Contact Points and the Extractive Sector - Workshop Report
London, 23 March 2012
The revised OECD Guidelines include an entirely new chapter on human rights that builds on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights3 and strengthens the possibility of bringing complaints for mediation to National Contact Points established pursuant to the OECD Guidelines. The aim of the Workshop in London was to raise awareness of the potential impact of the revised OECD Guidelines and ways in which they might be used constructively to best protect human rights.

Migrant Workes Responsible Recruitment and Fair Hiring Practices

Migrant Workes: Responsible Recruitment and Fair Hiring Practices
Delhi, March 13th, 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and Verité co-convened a multi-stakeholder roundtable on responsible recruitment and fair hiring to combat human trafficking in South Asia in Delhi on 13th March 2012. This event brought together senior representatives of global brands, the recruitment industry in the region, local and international NGOs, and international organizations such as the ILO.

Capacity Building for NHRIs from East Africa, Malawi and Ghana

Capacity Building for NHRIs from East Africa, Malawi and Ghana
Kampala, January 25-26th, 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), in cooperation with the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), organised on January 25th and 26th 2012 in Kampala a two-day workshop for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from East Africa, Malawi, Ghana and South Sudan to support the empowerment of NHRIs to deliver on their mandate on business and human rights. The workshop provided an opportunity for the NHRIs to reflect on lessons learned, share experiences and identify areas of potential future work in this area.

Bangladeshi Migrant Workers: Responsible Recruitment, Responsible Return

Bangladeshi Migrant Workers: Responsible Recruitment, Responsible Return
August 2011
Safe and sustainable labour migration is a key driver of economic development in both sending and receiving countries. Ensuring the protection of migrant workers’ human rights is becoming an increasingly important issue for a number of global industries, as well as for home and host governments.

More than a resource: Water, Business and Human Rights

More than a resource: Water, Business and Human Rights
August 2011
This report clarifies the relationships between business, human rights and water and answers some of the key questions that arise when they are considered together. It makes the case for integrating human rights considerations, including those relating to water, into the policies and practices of business.

What Next for Business and Human Rights at the UN

Expert Meeting on "What Next for Business and Human Rights at the UN?"
4-5 July 2011, Geneva
On 4-5 July 2011, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), and the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) convened a two-day expert dialogue to reflect on future actions concerning the subject of business and human rights, both within the UN human rights system and beyond.

From Red to Green Flags - Report Cover

From Red to Green Flags - The corporate responsibility to respect human rights in high-risk countries
May 2011
Companies operating in weak governance zones or dysfunctional states face multiple human rights risks, and their actions may pose risks to others. Building on the UN endorsed Protect, Respect, Remedy framework on business and human rights, this report explores the specific human rights dilemmas and challenges facing companies operating in such contexts and provides detailed guidance for business leaders in meeting their human rights responsibilities.

report cover

Migrant Labour in the Apparel Sector in Mauritius
February 2011
The Institute for Human Rights and Business is hosting a series of Business and Migration roundtables for Collective Action between 2010-2012 for apparel companies, governments and civil society addressing issues of worker protection and human rights due diligence. The second of these roundtables, "Responsible Recruitment, Responsible Employment", took place in Mauritius on 25 January 2011.

Report Cover

The UN Global Compact and Human Rights: Developing a Vision for 2020
October 2010
An assessment the overall impact of the Global Compact and its role in mainstreaming human rights within business, including recommendations on how the Global Compact’s strategic approach could be further developed to build on successes, address criticisms and achieve greater impact over the coming years.

Report Cover

The State of Play of Human Rights Due Diligence: Anticipating the Next Five Years
June 2010
A review of how human rights due diligence processes - which involve developing policies, assessing impacts, integrating into management practices, and tracking and monitoring performance - are being taken up by 24 prominent companies from different industry sectors and from different parts of the world.

Business and Migration - Roundtable For Collective Action: Strengthening migrant worker protection in the supply chain

Business and Migration - Roundtable For Collective Action: Strengthening migrant worker protection in the supply chain
April 2010
The Institute for Human Rights and Business is convening a series of Business and Migration roundtables for Collective Action for apparel companies, governments and civil society during 2010-12. The Ethical Trading Initiative and the International Business Leaders Forum joined IHRB in convening the first roundtable in this series which explored risks to migrant worker protection in both sending and receiving countries.

Business and Migration - Roundtable For Collective Action: Strengthening migrant worker protection in the supply chain

Executive Summary: Business and Migration - Roundtable For Collective Action
April 2010
This four-page executive summary of the report 'Strengthening migrant worker protection in the supply chain', details the key points to emerge from the March 24th roundtable meeting addressing issues of migrant worker protection in the supply chain.

Moving Ahead Together:
Evaluation of Business and
Human Rights workshops
within the Sino-Swiss Human Rights Dialogue.

Moving Ahead Together: Evaluation of Business and Human Rights workshops within the Sino-Swiss Human Rights Dialogue
February 2010
The Swiss government invited the Institute for Human Rights and Business to undertake a reporting and evaluation exercise for two workshops within the Sino‐ Swiss Human Rights Dialogue: 'A rights‐based approach to CSR reporting', and 'Labour Rights and CSR' took place in Beijing and Changsha respectively in November 2009.

Submission by the Institute for Human Rights and Business to John Ruggie, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights

Setting Boundaries: Clarifying the Scope and Content of the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights
December 2009
As a contribution to the ongoing work of UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, IHRB has submitted a new report that explores situations and specific circumstances in which companies may have responsibilities in addition to those understood in the corporate responsibility to respect human rights as set out in the "Protect, Respect, Remedy" policy framework for business and human rights.

Preventing Conflicts Over Land

Preventing Conflicts over Land: Exploring the role of business and the value of human rights approaches
November 2009
Business, civil society, and governments have a common interest in preventing human rights abuses at all stages of business’ relationship with land – before and during acquisition, as well as after operations have commenced. There is also a need to ensure appropriate relocation, rehabilitation and compensation where necessary. This preliminary report, drawn from the Institute’s convening and expert feedback, addresses the multiple issues emerging around conflicts over land acquisition.

Land, Business and Human Rights

Land, Business and Human Rights
July 2009
The Institute for Human Rights and Business convened a discussion around land, business, and human rights in Manesar, India, on June 24-25. Over 25 international representatives participated in the two-day forum. Participants included representatives of leading businesses with responsibilities in India and beyond, academic and legal experts as well as members of the civil society expressing a wide range of views on issues such as indigenous people's rights, ecological concerns, human rights, and property rights. Background papers are now available for download.

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