1. Putting the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework into practice
2011 will see the culmination of John Ruggie’s mandate as UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, highlighting the need to maintain and build on the momentum for positive action that has developed over the past five years. The release in November 2010 of draft Guiding Principles...
The release in November 2010 of draft Guiding Principles on the operationalization of the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” policy framework on business and human rights by UN Special Representative John Ruggie signals the final stage of this important mandate which has moved the business and human rights agenda forward significantly over the past five years.
The draft Principles, to be finalized and presented by the Special Representative along with his final report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011, seek to provide concrete recommendations and guidance to governments, companies and other actors. Once adopted, the Principles will become a global benchmark of good practice on business and human rights with the potential to reshape much of the current corporate responsibility landscape.
The challenge for 2011 and in the years to come is to put these Principles into practice at local, national and global levels. This will require a multi-faceted strategy and follow up involving UN actors, governments, companies and leaders in the Corporate Responsibility field. It will also mean effective integration of the Guiding Principles into relevant ongoing processes such as the updating of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the new ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standard as well as other relevant multi-stakeholder initiatives including the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative among others.
The Guiding Principles should also influence other developments in 2011 such as the expected release of a new ‘CSR Communication’ from the European Union with much greater reference to human rights and business, the terms of reference for the ASEAN Human Rights Commission which are likely to include business issues and a more prominent role generally for National Human Rights Institutions on business related issues.
The Institute for Human Rights and Business welcomes the release of the draft Guiding Principles and looks forward to continuing its involvement in supporting and engaging with the Special Representative and other stakeholders in this important process during 2011 and beyond.