All enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.
As of today, enterprises in 3 business sectors have got a head start on others. Employment and recruitment agencies, ICT companies, and oil and gas companies, can all now refer to practical, authoritative guides developed for their particular sector.
The guides published today are consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They take particular account of the experience of EU companies, but aim to be as globally applicable as possible.
Welcoming the publication of the guides, Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, said “Respect for human rights is part of the recipe for modern business excellence. This guidance meets global standards agreed in the UN while leaving enterprises the necessary flexibility to adapt their approach to their own particular circumstances.”
Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, said “Business is an increasingly important player in the world of human rights. This guidance aims to help enterprises in Europe and elsewhere to meet the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as defined by the UN and strongly endorsed by the EU.”
The guides have been developed on behalf of the European Commission by Shift and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. They are the result of an intensive multistakeholder process, involving representatives of business, trade unions and civil society organisations, as well as other experts.
The development of sector-specific human rights guidance is a commitment made in the European Commission’s strategy on corporate social responsibility adopted in 2011.
Download copies of the sector guides here .