UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights

About the Guiding Principles

The United Nations Guiding Principles for Business & Human Rights are a set of general and operational principles on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

The framework consists of three pillars:

  • State duty to protect human rights;
  • Corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and
  • Access to remedy.

There is no independent accountability mechanism for the Guiding Principles where you can complain over companies’ noncompliance. The Guiding Principles establish that companies should have a project-level grievance mechanism to address adverse human rights impacts. Other UN procedures may also be relevant for a wider complaint strategy.

Accountability Counsel’s Advocacy Around Creation of the UNGPs

In particular, our organization has focused on the third pillar of these Principles, Access to Remedy. In addition to our initial input into the creation of the Guiding Principles, we now advocate for government and private sector implementation of the Guiding Principles.

On January 31, 2011, Accountability Counsel authored Comments on the Draft Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the U.N. Protect, Respect, and Remedy Framework.  Read the Comments on the Draft Framework.

The final Report to the Human Rights Council containing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights was released March 21, 2011.

Accountability Counsel’s Comments re European Commission Draft Oil & Gas Sector Guidance

On February 1, 2013, Accountability Counsel authored comments on the European Commission’s Draft Guidance for the Oil and Gas Sector on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Accountability Counsel’s US Implementation Efforts with ICAR

On July 24, 2013, Accountability Counsel, in coalition with the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), submitted a letter to President Obama regarding the need for greater implementation of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Accountability Counsel, through our membership in ICAR, submitted this letter to the U.S. Government on April 23, 2013 regarding recommendations for U.S. implementation of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

For more information see the Accountability Resource Guide, or visit the U.N. Human Rights website on Business and Human Rights.

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