Commodities

State of Play - Human Rights in Business Relationships

01 December 2012

The second in IHRB's "State of Play" report series, this joint report produced with the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) takes stock of efforts by companies to address human rights impacts associated with their business relationships.

The Report is based on extensive interviews with a group of 14 international companies to identify how they address human rights impacts associated within six types of business relationships:

  • joint ventures
  • mergers and acquisitions 
  • franchising and licensing 
  • suppliers and service providers 
  • direct customers 
  • investor-state relationships

Behind the macro trends and data of globalisation lies a complex array of individual business relationships, each with specific commercial objectives. The Report explores the implications of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for these relationships, looking at how responsible business commitments and practices are being integrated at the micro level.

The Report outlines a range of practices and challenges faced throughout the lifecycle of the six business relationship types, and suggests 10 themes that will be of particular importance for implementation over the subsequent 5 years.

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