Economy and global human rights protection – the responsibility of European companies

Ein Erklärung von Ursula Wynhoven (General Counsel as well as Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability for the United Nations Global Compact, the UN’s corporate sustainability initiative)

Since mid 2011, when the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights, it has been clear that all companies everywhere have a responsibility to respect human rights, which means to identify and address adverse human rights impacts with which the company is involved.

Since then, the UN Global Compact – the UN’s corporate sustainability initiative, which calls on businesses to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption, and which includes an explicit call for companies to respect and support human rights – has been pleased to observe that may more companies have been taking human rights more seriously, adopting human rights policy statements and undertaking due diligence to identify and address the impacts that their business has or may have on the human rights of workers, customers, community members and others.

There are now a number of tools and initiatives that can help companies to meet their corporate responsibility to respect human rights ranging from guidance on how to prepare a human rights policy statement, how to conduct an impact assessment and how to report on efforts to respect human rights.

We invite companies to visit https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/our-work/social/human-rights and to contact us to learn more.


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