A new United Nations expert body that promotes respect for human rights among businesses is inviting governments, companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to submit ideas and proposals to help establish its work programme next year.
The UN Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises will take businesses’ submissions into account during its first session in January, when the Group’s priorities and activities will be determined.
According to a news release issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday, the group already started working by focusing on a set of internationally accepted guidelines and principles to prevent and address the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity.
The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed in June by the UN Human Rights Council, outline what businesses need to do to ensure human rights are respected in their enterprises, and give access to effective remedies when those rights have been negatively affected.
The principles are the product of six years of research and consultations and involved governments, companies, business associations, civil society, affected individuals and groups, and others around the world.
The group will monitor the following of these principles by conducting country visits, promoting good practices, and organizing an international forum on businesses and human rights to discuss the challenges enterprises face when implementing the guidelines.