A growing number o companies
are becom-ing aware o the contribution they can make toadvancing human rights within their spheres oinfuence and the benets such an approach canhave or their businesses. While human rightscontinue to be the primary responsibility o govern-ments, companies can do a lot within the contexto their own business to support and respect theobservance o human rights. Being proactive onhuman rights can make good business sense, aswell as being the right thing to do.This publication, a joint product o the Business Lead-ers Initiative on Human Rights (BLIHR), the UnitedNations Global Compact Oce, and the Oce o theUnited Nations High Commissioner or Human Rights(OHCHR), oers practical guidance to companies thatwant to take a proactive approach to human rightswithin their business operations. It is principally orbusiness leaders and managers in large and me-dium-sized enterprises, private and state-owned, whowould like to develop their understanding o humanrights in business practice.
What is the Business Leaders Initiative onHuman Rights?
The Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights(BLIHR) is a business-led program that is developingpractical tools and methodologies or applying hu-man rights principles and standards across a rangeo business sectors, issues, and geographical loca-tions. The ten member companies o BLIHR took thelead in this Guide’s development, in which they sharesome o their experiences and lessons they havelearned. For more inormation, see www.blihr.org
What is the United Nations Global Compact Ofce?
The United Nations (UN) Global Compact is theUN’s voluntary corporate citizenship initiative basedon ten universal principles in the areas o hu-man rights, labor standards, the environment andanti-corruption (see the
). It has beenendorsed by all 191 Heads o State and Govern-ments o the United Nations and has urther beenlegitimized through a consensus resolution by theGeneral Assembly. The rst two principles o theGlobal Compact are derived rom the Universal Dec-laration o Human Rights, which is the oundationalramework o the international human rights system.• Business should support and respect the pro-tection o international human rights; and• Business must not be complicit in abuses ohuman rights.The Global Compact Oce works with participantsand other stakeholders to provide support, commu-nications, governance, and programs related to theGlobal Compact initiative and principles. For moreinormation, see www.unglobalcompact.org
What is the Ofce o the United Nations HighCommissioner or Human Rights?
The Oce o the United Nations High Commissioneror Human Rights (OHCHR) is an important brancho the UN human rights structure. The current HighCommissioner, Louise Arbour, is responsible to theUN Secretary General or encouraging the inter-national community and nation states to upholduniversal human rights standards. The Oce seeksto work with an ever wider range o participants,including the private sector, to promote respect orand commitment to human rights as widely as pos-sible. For more inormation, see www.ohchr.org
Why we chose to produce this Guide
Human rights is one o the most challenging areaso corporate responsibility or companies to ad-dress; more human rights tools and guidance areneeded. This Guide is intended to help meet thisneed and, in doing so, help companies make hu-man rights a successul part o their business.