Business & Human Rights

Business & Human Rights Standards

Human Rights

Businesses have the responsibility to respect all internationally recognised human rights. At a minimum, this means the rights set out in:

Human rights touch on a broad range of issues, including labour rights, working conditions, non-discrimination, culture, health, water, education and privacy.


Business and the Responsibility to Respect Human Rights

The United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide practical guidance and are the authoritative global standard and key reference point for businesses on how to meet the growing expectations they face when it comes to respecting human rights.

These principles build on the three pillars of the UN ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ and the framework is based on the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the need to ensure access to remedy for those affected by human rights abuses.

The UN Guiding Principles set out the policies and processes that a business should have in place to meet its responsibility to respect human rights. These include:

  • A policy commitment to respecting human rights
  • An ongoing human rights due diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how the business addresses impacts on human rights
  • Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts the business has caused or contributed to


Business and Support for Human Rights

Respecting human rights is the minimum standard expected of businesses, but businesses also have a significant opportunity to support human rights — that is, to take additional voluntary actions that promote and advance human rights.

These actions can occur through social investment, advocacy, engagement in public policy, collective action and philanthropy. However, these actions cannot substitute for respecting human rights.

Get Involved

The Global Compact Network Australia convenes an annual multi-sector, multi-stakeholder Business and Human Rights dialogue. Register your interest at secretariat@unglobalcompact.org.au.

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