International Business and Human Rights Frameworks
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)
The UNGPs were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011. They were created by UN Special Rapporteur Prof. John Ruggie, following the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework.
The agreement of the framework was widely regarded as a major breakthrough in international corporate accountability and broadly welcomed by governments, business and civil society.
Rather than creating new international law, the UNGPs set out the implications of existing standards and practices for States and businesses, and provide a common platform for action.
The framework rests on three ‘pillars’:
- the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business;
- the corporate responsibility to respect human rights;
- greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial.
UK Government National Action Plan (NAP)
The UK was one of the first countries to release its NAP on business and human rights, setting out how the UNGPs would be implemented (to which CORE gave a cautious welcome). The UK released its updated plan in 2016.
Whilst the publication of an updated plan demonstrates that the UK remains engaged with business and human rights, CORE finds the lack of ambition in many areas disappointing.
In particular, the plan offers very little to people who are denied justice after being harmed by the international operations of UK companies.
Proposed Binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights
CORE is supporting the proposals to develop an international treaty on business and human rights that would create a binding framework that holds companies responsible for abuses committed under their watch.
Compare governments’ actions to improve business respect for human rights
A toolkit to assess NAP methodology, development and follow-up
ECCJ recommendations to EU governments on the content of NAPs