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Guidance Material



Human Rights Training Toolkit for the Oil & Gas Industry, 2nd Edition

The Training Toolkit provides managers with a template that can be used and adapted to conform to a company’s policy or position on human rights and applicable domestic laws and regulations. The Toolkit consists of four sections: a presentation with the key messages for use in a training session; a workbook to be used in conjunction with the presentation; a trainer’s manual; and a resource guide. (IPIECA, 2009)
>> Toolkit


Pure Business

“Pure Business” is a three part e-learning tool developed by Amnesty International in the Netherlands. Its primary purpose is to help users understand human rights in the context of business operations. The first part of the e-learning tool details the relationship that exists between business and human rights. Part two outlines a human rights framework for business operations. The third part encourages business to implement clearly defined internal policies and practices in relation to human rights. Free registration is required. (Amnesty International, 2008)

>> Pure Business


Human Rights COP Reporting Guidance

The first two Principles of the UN Global Compact call on businesses to support and respect human rights and to make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. While there has been a trend towards more comprehensive reporting on human rights performance, the quality generally lags behind reporting on the Global Compact’s other principles. This guidance has been developed by and endorsed by the Global Compact's Human Rights Working Group to provide practical information on how companies can improve reporting on their implementation efforts, especially within the context of their annual Communication on Progress (COP). A designed version will be available shortly.

>>  Human Rights COP Reporting Guidance (pdf)

A Resource Guide to Corporate Human Rights Reporting

This collaborative publication offers a practical guide on steps that companies can take to improve their coverage of human rights as part of their sustainability reports and was developed through extensive expert consultation over 2009. (UNGC/GRI/Realizing Rights, 2009)

>> Resource Guide to Corporate Human Rights Reporting (pdf)



Corporate Human Rights Reporting – An Analysis of Current Trends

Part of the same collaborative project that produced A Resource Guide to Corporate Human Rights, this publication is a survey of recent sustainability reports by over 50 leading companies. It examines trends in current corporate disclosures on human rights and highlights good practice examples as well as ongoing shortcomings in reporting in this area. (UNGC/GRI/Realizing Rights, 2009)

>> Corporate Human Rights Reporting (pdf)


Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting, A Practitioner's Guide

This publication is designed to gives CSR managers and others practical guidance on how to embed gender equality into sustainability reporting under the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework. The report suggests best practices and measurement frameworks for promoting gender equality in areas such as the supply chain, investment, organizational governance and the community. (IFC/GRI, 2009)

>>  Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting (pdf)


Sustainability Reporting Framework

This reporting framework was developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and provides companies with principles and guideposts for reporting sustainability, including economic, environmental and social performance. The foundation of the framework is the G3.1 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which outline a disclosure scheme for companies to adopt. (GRI, 2011)

>>  Reporting Framework


Measuring and Reporting on Corporate Performance on Human Rights

This joint publication describes efforts to develop ways of measuring companies' performances on human rights. The report sets out why such measurements are important and raises questions concerning the difficulties of quantifying progress. (CSR Europe/BSR, 2001)

>> Measuring and Reporting on Corporate Performance on Human Rights (pdf)


Grievance Mechanisms

BASESwiki: A dispute resolution community

Having an effective corporate level grievance mechanism is a key way for companies to manage human rights risks. BASESwiki is an online resource which aims to help business and society explore solutions to human rights grievances and disputes. BASESwiki provides a place for users to share information and learn about a range of non-judicial grievance mechanisms that exist around the world including: global, regional, national and local grievance mechanisms; industry and multi-stakeholder grievance mechanisms; and company or project based grievance mechanisms. (SRSG on Business and Human Rights/Harvard Kennedy CSR Initiative)

>> BASESwiki


Addressing Grievances from Project-Affected Communities

This good practice note published by the IFC provides an expanded guidance framework for companies in dealing with stakeholder engagement. Dealing specifically with the design and implementation of grievance mechanisms, this publication addresses principles and issues that companies of any type or size may have to address when engaging in dialogue with affected communities. This document highlights a number of case studies from IFC clients, including some from the extractive and manufacturing industries. (IFC, 2009)

  >> Addressing Grievances (pdf)


Embedding Rights Compatible Grievance Processes for External Stakeholders Within Business Culture

This report is designed to aid companies in adapting internal integrated conflict management (ICM) programmes for use to engage with external stakeholders. The report is written from the perspective of corporate counsel and focuses on ICM as a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). (Harvard Kennedy CSR Initiative, 2009)

  >> Report (pdf)


Human Rights in the Metals and Mining Industry: Handling and Resolving Local Level Concerns and Grievances

This publication, by the International Commission on Mining and Metals, focuses on the development and improvement of grievance mechanisms.  It provides helpful examples of good practices and seeks to give companies guidance on topics ranging from the establishing of design principles to on-the-ground engagement with affected communities. While the primary audience is for companies in the mining industry, companies in other sectors may also find the content helpful when designing or improving their own grievance mechanisms. (ICMM, 2009)

>> Human Rights Grievances Guide (pdf)


Rights-compatible grievance mechanisms: A guidance tool for companies and their stakeholders

This guidance helps companies to introduce or strengthen existing grievance mechanisms. A rights-compatible mechanism integrates human rights norms and standards into its processes and is based on principles of non-discrimination, equity, accountability, empowerment and participation. It can deal with most kinds of grievances (except those raising criminal liability), including – but not limited to – those that reflect substantive human and labour rights concerns. Ensuring the mechanism is rights-compatible in both its process and outcomes enhances its credibility and legitimacy, both locally and internationally, as well as its potential success in practice. (Harvard Kennedy CSR Initiative, 2008)

>> Guidance Tool on Rights Compatible Grievance Mechanisms (pdf)


Legal Accountability

Lawyers as Leaders – Human Rights

This inaugural module of the Lawyers as Leaders project features educational interviews with Prof. John Ruggie, the SRSG on business and human rights, and with leading corporate counsel in the area of human rights from General Electric and Rio Tinto. The interviews emphasize the value of corporate counsel in the design and management of corporate sustainability-related policies and practices.(UNGC/IBA, 2010)

>> Lawyers as Leaders – IBA Portal


Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses

This guide provides a practical tool for victims and their representatives, NGOs and other civil society groups to seek justice and obtain reparation for victims of human rights abuses involving multinational corporations. Each of the guide's five sections examines a different type of instrument, including intergovernmental mechanisms, legal options, mediation mechanisms such as OECD national contact points, complaints mechanisms stemming from financial support received by companies, and mechanisms related to voluntary commitments taken by companies. (FIDH, 2010)

>> Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses


Building Human Rights-Friendly Corporate Culture: Human Rights Accountability Guide

Ensuring a robust corporate culture that supports and respects human rights is critical to preventing business-related human rights abuses. According to the guide developed by BLIHR, companies should take an integrated approach to building a human rights-friendly corporate culture and form an interactive system of accountability by considering laws, norms and values. (BLIHR, 2008)

>> Accountability Guide (pdf)


Corporate Legal Accountability Portal

Global Compact participants usually strive to do more than comply with the law. However, many businesses may be interested to learn from information about lawsuits involving human rights issues that have been brought against companies around the world. This portal maintained by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre seeks to bring together in one place and demystify lawsuits alleging human rights abuse by companies from across the world . It uses non-legal language and includes expert commentary. (BHRRC)

>> Business & Human Rights Legal Portal


Human Rights Advocacy

How Business Can Encourage Governments to Fulfill their Human Rights Obligations

This good practice note considers actions and lessons learned by companies that have and have not attempted to encourage governments to fulfil their human rights obligations. Key questions for consideration and potential courses of action are identified. (UNGC, 2010)

>> How Business Can Encourage Governments (pdf)


Leadership and Corporate Accountability Slides

This two page slide developed by Harvard Business School is designed to help business think through their response in situations such as when they are called upon to engage in advocacy on human rights in a country in which they operate. (Harvard Business School)

>> Human Rights Advocacy (pdf)


Specific Business and Human Rights Issues

Children's Rights

Children's Rights and Business Principles

The first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.  (UNGC/UNICEF/Save the Children, 2012)
>> Download (pdf) : لعربية  | 中文 | English | Français | Português | Русский | Español
>> More Information

Pilot Workbook: Children are Everyone's Business

The Workbook is a practical handbook to help companies understand and address their impact on children’s rights and a handbook for anyone with an interest in understanding the close interlinkages between business and children’s rights. (UNICEF, 2012)

Conflict Zones


For a list of resources for companies operating in conflict zones or countries with weak human rights protections, see the UN Global Compact's issue page on Business and Peace.

>> Business and Peace


Gender and Diversity

Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business

WEPS_Brochure The Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of Principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They emphasize the business case for corporate action to promote gender equality and women's empowerment and seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and the role of business in sustainable development. (UNGC/UN Women, 2010)
>> Download (pdf) | لعربية | 中文 | English | Français | Português | Русский | Español
>> More Information

Doing Business in a Multicultural World: Challenges and Opportunities

Doing Business in a Multicultural World
This report represents a first foray into this subject. It is exploratory, not comprehensive. It reviews a wide spectrum of private sector activities, to uncover areas of shared concern and possible collaboration. In this way, it is an initial step in a process of engaging the private sector and of identifying ways that collaboration with the Alliance of Civilizations and the Global Compact can help companies address the cross-cultural issues facing their business and contribute to intercultural understanding in ways that benefit business and society. (UNGC/UN Alliance of Civilizations, 2009)
>> Doing Business in a Multicultural World (pdf)

Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting, A Practitioner's Guide

This publication is designed to gives CSR managers and others practical guidance on how to embed gender equality into sustainability reporting under the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework. The report suggests best practices and measurement frameworks for promoting gender equality in areas such as the supply chain, investment, organizational governance and the community. (IFC/GRI, 2009)

>>  Embedding Gender in Sustainability Reporting (pdf)

Human Rights and Security

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

These principles guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. (IBLF/BSR, 2009)

>> Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

Human Trafficking

eCourse on Human Trafficking

Designed for business managers and employees, this free online course helps understand what human trafficking is, how to identify where human trafficking might be a risk to their business, and identify action to address this risk. (EHTN/UN.GIFT, 2013)

>> eCourse Tool on Human Trafficking


Human Trafficking and Business: Good Practices to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking

Guides business on how to avoid being implicated in human trafficking through the use of their products, services or facilities, as well as how to make a positive contribution. (UNGC/UN.GIFT/ILO/IOM, 2010)

>> Human Trafficking and Business (pdf)


Athens Ethical Principles

Adapted in Athens on 23 January 2006 to engage the worldwide business community to participate in anti-trafficking efforts, seven principles outline action plans for business to contribute to the eradication of human trafficking. (End Human Trafficking Now!, 2006)

>> Athens Ethical Principles
>> Implementation Guidelines


For additional resources on human trafficking, see the UN Global Compact's guidance material on Forced Labour.

>> Forced Labour


Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights

This publication examines how the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can help investors assess and address human rights risks in their portfolios and engage the companies they hold. (Institute for Human Rights and Business/Calvert Investments/Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, 2013)

>> Investing the Rights Way
>> Summary

Labour Migration

Labour Migration Report

Labour migrants are an increasingly important part of the global workforce, yet little attention has been given to the specific human rights risks they pose to companies. This report provides companies with examples and a framework for action to identify risks related to labour migrants both within their own operations and their supply chain. (BSR, 2008)

>> Labour Migration Report (pdf)


Handbook for Preparing a Resettlement Action Plan

This handbook is meant to provide companies with a way to deal appropriately and effectively in situations where involuntary resettlement has become necessary, particularly in developing countries. The publication draws from the experience of numerous IFC clients. (IFC, 2002)

>> Resettlement Handbook (pdf) 

Supply Chain

To learn more about supply chain management, see the UN Global Compact's issue page on Supply Chain Sustainability.

>> Supply Chain Sustainability



The Human Right to Water: Emerging Corporate Practice and Stakeholder Expectations

  In July 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right. Two months later, the UN Human Rights Council affirmed this right by a consensus resolution. This white paper is designed to provide information that will inform both how individual companies can respect the human right to water, as well as how the Mandate itself can meaningfully contribute to business’ ability to effectively address this issue. (UNGC/Pacific Institute, 2010)

>> Water Human Rights (pdf)

Webinar Recordings


Growing into Your Sustainability Commitments: A Roadmap for Impact and Value Creation

Co-hosted by the Global Compact and AccountAbility, this webinar profiles how companies integrate voluntary sustainability commitments into their strategies and operations. Drawing upon findings from the recent report by the Global Compact and AccountAbility Growing into Your Sustainability Commitments: A Roadmap for Impact and Value Creation, the webinar will look at how companies move along the Sustainability Commitment Growth Curve (SCGC) -- a framework to help companies navigate their engagement with and derive value from voluntary sustainability commitments.

>> Presentation | Recording (17 July 2013, 8:00 am)

>> Presentation | Recording (24 July 2013, 10:00 am)


Good Business Practices to Address Human Trafficking - Travel & Tourism

This webinar was the second in a series to showcase business initiatives that were nominated for the Business Leader’s Award to Fight Human Trafficking, which aims to identify and recognize good business practices for preventing and tackling human trafficking. This webinar explored innovative business approaches in the travel and tourism sector, with nominees sharing their good practices, challenges and lessons learned in preventing and mitigating the risks of human trafficking.

>> Presentation | Recording (20 June 2013, 9:00 am)


Occupational Health and Safety – Lessons from the Bangladesh Factory Collapse

The recent factory-building collapse in Bangladesh, claiming the lives of over 1,100 workers, provided a stark reminder that there is more to be done to ensure better and safer working conditions for workers in Bangladesh, as well as across other regions. This webinar discussed how companies can help prevent similar tragedies in the future. Panelists included representatives of Better Work (ILO/IFC), who shared global experiences and solutions, and leading companies in the garment and mobile telecommunications sectors, who discussed some of the practical steps they have taken to improve worker standards in their supply chains.

>> Presentation | Recording (19 June 2013, 10:00 am)


Managing Human Rights Risks in the Supply Chain: Keeping your Social License to Operate

Considered through the lens of social license methodology, panelists explored how participants can analyze their operations and the practices of businesses in their supply chain to avoid contributing to negative impacts on human rights, such as child labour. Participants discussed the importance of meeting the minimum requirements to respect human rights as outlined by the Global Compact principles and the Guiding Principles and how doing so can help mitigate potential risks to a company’s reputation and bottom line. Business panelists shared best practices and lessons learned about assessing human rights risks in their operations, and strategies they have used to prevent or respond to them.

>> Presentation | Recording (13 June 2013, 8:00 am)


Local Populations and the Social License to Operate

This webinar addressed relationships between businesses and the communities in which they operate, focusing specifically on the extractive industry. Compelling business arguments for proactive and robust human rights due diligence were presented, and participants explored how even unanticipated and unintentional impacts on the rights of local people can pose risks to a company’s social license to operate in a region, its productivity and its reputation. Panelists shared examples of practices to avoid negatively impacting the human rights of local populations and lessons learned that apply across sectors.

>> Presentation | Recording (13 May 2013, 8:00 am)


Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights

Internationally-accepted frameworks now exist that define the responsibility of all companies with respect to human rights. This also extends to investors, who are looking to integrate human rights effectively and consistently into investment decision–making and corporate engagement. The webinar focused on a new report, Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights, which aims to assist investors in evaluating human rights–related issues across their portfolios. Panelists included representatives from the organizations behind the new Guide: the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Calvert Investments and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

>> Presentation | Recording (23 April 2013, 11:00 am)


Good Business Practices to Address Human Trafficking

Co-organized with End Human Trafficking Now, this webinar showcased business initiatives that were nominated for the Business Leader’s Award to Fight Human Trafficking in its first two cycles. The award aims to identify and reward good business practices preventing and tackling human trafficking - an issue that is increasingly recognized as a concern and risk for the corporate world. The webinar explored innovative business approaches, with nominees sharing their good practices, challenges and lessons learned in preventing and mitigating risks of human trafficking within their company’s operation and supply chains.

>> Presentation | Recording (22 April 2013, 10:00 am)


Grievance Mechanisms For Business and Human Rights

This webinar explored the role of company-level grievance mechanisms, their benefits and limitations, their relationship to other means of addressing stakeholder concerns, and some key considerations when designing a mechanism to be effective in practice. The discussion also includes examples and perspective from business representatives.

>> Presentation | Recording (18 April 2013, 9:00 am)

>> Presentation | Recording (18 April 2013, 7:00 pm)


Introduction to the Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework

This webinar was convened by the Global Compact and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to familiarize Global Compact Local Network representatives with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and introduce them to National Human Rights Institutions as possible partners for advancing Human Rights at the local level.

The webinar at 9am EST featured panelists from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Global Compact Network Germany, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The webinar at 7pm EST included presentations from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Global Compact Network Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission.


 >> Presentation | Recording (21 February 2013 , 9:00 am)

>> Presentation | Recording (21 February 2013, 7:00 pm)

Other Resources 

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

This comprehensive website is composed of links to a wide range of materials published by: NGOs; companies and business organizations; United Nations, ILO and other intergovernmental organizations; governments and courts; policy experts and academics; social investment analysts; journalists; etc. Updated hourly, the site receives over 1.5 million hits per month (over 47,000 visits per month) from across the world. The site contains materials in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. Two new web portals have recently been launched — Getting Started and Tools and Guidance — to help business understand and  operationalize human rights. (BHRRC)
>> Business and Human Rights Resource Centre


European Commission Materials on Business and Human Rights

The Corporate Social Responsibility team of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry has resources businesses can use in the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These include a guide to human rights for SMEs (available in all EU languages, plus Croatian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and Ukrainian) and five short case studies explaining how European SMEs are addressing human rights.
>> European Commission Materials on Business and Human Rights





Ursula Wynhoven
UN Global Compact

(Last updated: 15 July 2013)