31 May 2011 A United Nations human rights expert today unveiled a series of global benchmarks aimed at helping businesses and governments to act ethically and protect human rights.
John Ruggie, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, presented the guidelines to the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently meeting in Geneva.
In a press release issued after his presentation, Mr. Ruggie said that “The principles seek to provide for the first time a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity, by outlining what States and business enterprises should do in practice.”
“They also give businesses predictability in what is expected of them, and provide other stakeholders, including civil society and investors, the tools to measure progress where it matters most – in the daily lives of people,” he said.
The 27-page document, the result of six years of effort, and based on visits to 20 countries, and online consultations with thousands of participants from 120 countries, contains dozens of recommendations. They include that:
In opening the annual conference earlier this month, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the meeting would focus on women’s rights defenders, racism, and the relationship between human rights and business.
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