The growth of business human rights

List of business entities Forms of business ownership vary by jurisdictionbut several common entities exist: A sole proprietorshipalso known as a sole trader, is owned by one person and operates for their benefit. The owner operates the business alone and may hire employees. A sole proprietor has unlimited liability for all obligations incurred by the business, whether from operating costs or judgments against the business.

The growth of business human rights

The Way Forward The Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution that The growth of business human rights see the establishment of an intergovernmental process to develop a broad-ranging treaty on business and human rights.

Jul 07, — Civil society was equally exercised: For many, a treaty seemed the only way forward. Avoiding a Treaty That argument helped focus some government minds. Professor John Ruggie was the appointed man. Over six years he ran a careful process of research, consultation and pilot work that led to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

It generated sufficient consensus among the previously warring factions for governments to endorse them in without changing a word. A Treaty Last month, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution albeit with only 20 positive votes of a possible 47 that will see the establishment of an intergovernmental process to develop a broad-ranging treaty on business and human rights.

The growth of business human rights

So has nothing changed? Are we back where we started? The current conversation bears little relation to that of The reality far less.

No business associations or companies in the Geneva debate would today claim that human rights are not relevant for business. To suggest such has become ridiculous. Instead, the number and range of companies introducing human rights policies and due diligence processes, conducting and commissioning impact assessments, scrutinizing their business partners and product lines for human rights concerns is burgeoning.

But these are just symptoms of a new reality. Today, the UN is not the main attraction when it comes to generating change in business practices with regard to human rights. Nor should it be.

The UN was needed to break past stale assumptions and catalyze a step change in thinking. It was smart to do so through an unusual process — outsourced in order to both include but also reach beyond the realm of international human rights law — resulting in the UN Guiding Principles. Implementing the UN Business and Human Rights Principles Today, besides ever more hundreds of companies starting to implement the Guiding Principles, and now numerous governments developing action plans with the same aim, we have law societies discussing how corporate lawyers should be advising their clients on these issues, public and private finance institutions integrating human rights into their financing decisions, investors calling on companies in their portfolio to implement the Guiding Principles — and even divesting on human rights groundsever more jurisdictions — now joined by the European Union — requiring companies to report on their human rights performance, regional organizations adding their endorsement of the Guiding Principles, and trade unions and NGOs using the Guiding Principles in their advocacy work, to good effect.

We are even starting to see some regulatory initiatives by governments and parliaments to mandate corporate human rights due diligence as defined by the Guiding Principles.

To underline that much more remains to be done is absolutely right. But to suggest little or nothing has been done is quite wrong: So neither companies nor governments should fear that this development in Geneva is a diversion from, or dilution of, what has been achieved in the last 10 years.

John Ruggie and others have laid out the reasons why efforts to develop an all-encompassing business and human rights treaty instead of targeting specific governance gaps will struggle to deliver meaningful change. But ultimately, if the proposed treaty process is poorly defined and driven by political machinations not human rights principles, it will simply demonstrate its irrelevance.

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And if — as I still hope — Geneva manages to salvage a good process, crafting a targeted agreement that can add real value, this will inevitably drive corporate practices in the same direction as called for by the UN Guiding Principles.

It will be years before we know which scenario wins out.Business Call to Action and BSR are pleased to announce a new online Masterclass on Inclusive Business and Human Rights. Learn how respecting and promoting human rights is an essential part of being an inclusive business, and the ways it can positively impact your competitiveness, reputation, and ability to secure and retain investment.

debate is the increased recognition of the link between business and human rights. In the first four decades after adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Cold War was the central political framework for viewing the world. Human rights was considered to be an issue that involved state action, not the actions of the private sector.

About us. We work with everyone to advance human rights in business and eradicate abuse. We empower advocates. We amplify the voices of the vulnerable, and human rights advocates in civil society, media, companies, and governments.

Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Governance Gap 22 September Despite its 'business' element, the business and human rights agenda still turns heavily on what states are or . Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for all debts incurred by the business.

If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. We recognise that business has the responsibility to respect human rights and the ability to contribute to positive human rights impacts.

This is an area of growing importance to our employees, workers, shareholders, investors.

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