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European Commission selects three business sectors for the development of human rights guidance Published on: 14/02/2012

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The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry has finalised the selection of three business sectors that will be the focus of a new, year-long project to develop sector-specific guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.

The selected sectors are (in alphabetical order):

  • employment and recruitment agencies
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • oil and gas

Together, these sectors face a wide range of significant human rights challenges that could benefit from detailed guidance for companies.
The guidance will also be valuable to businesses from other sectors facing similar human rights related issues.
The activities envisaged for the development of human rights guidance for the ICT sector will contribute to the implementation of the European Commission’s No Disconnect Strategy on Internet freedom.

The selection of these sectors was based on objective criteria and rigorous analysis carried out by Shift and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Careful consideration was given to submissions made by companies, industry federations, NGOs and private individuals.

The guidance developed through this project will be based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The European Commission identified the development of sector-specific guidance as one of the priority actions in its recent communication on corporate social responsibility.

Extensive consultations with enterprises and all concerned stakeholder groups are planned as part of the project process. Shift and IHRB will coordinate this process on behalf of the European Commission. The development of the guidance is due to be completed by the end of 2012.

Any organisations or individuals wishing to submit comments or questions in relation to the project can email