The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were introduced by the UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights in 2011, John Ruggie.  They have become the leading international standard for responsible business conduct based on respect for human rights. The concept of business and human rights looks at how business enterprises address the potential adverse impacts on human rights.

The Guiding Principles provide a model to help businesses to manage the risks associated with adverse human rights impacts. They also provide a framework for stakeholders to assess how business enterprises respect human rights in their business activities. Stakeholder engagement is a key indicator of how business enterprises meet their corporate responsibility to respect human rights enshrined in the Guiding Principles.

Екип от специалисти, които са мотивирани да развиват темата за бизнеса и правата на човека в България
Quality Standards
Quality Standards

The UN Guiding Principles establish the requirement for businesses, regardless of their size or sector to respect human rights. The protection of human rights is a fundamental obligation of the state which is carried out following internationally accepted conventions and instruments. In addition to the role of the state, the Principles recognize the impact of business enterprises and the need to respect human rights to reduce the risk of potential human rights violations. Their function is to guide business enterprises to be proactive in addressing potential harms of their activities that may be at risk of violating human rights considering the type of business operations, industry or geographical region.

The UNGPs are based on 3 pillars:

The duty of the state to respect human rights

State’s obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Corporate responsibility to respect human rights

The role of business enterprises as specialised organs of society, performing specialised functions which are required to comply with the law including respect for human rights.

Effective remedy

The need for the rights and obligations, if violated, to be guaranteed with appropriate and effective legal and non-legal remedies.

Quality Standards
Quality Standards

Pillar 1: The state in compliance with its international human rights obligations is obliged to provide conditions and perquisites to ensure the protection of human rights violations from the activities of business enterprises:

Ensuring  legal compliance and assessing the adequacy of legislative initiatives requiring business enterprises to respect human rights;

  • Encouraging business enterprises to respect human rights by providing effective guidelines and incentives; 
  • Encouraging state-owned enterprises to take measures to respect human rights which includes  conducting human rights due diligence (Principle 4);
  • When establishing that business enterprises  operate in conflicts, the state should provide them with the necessary support and guidance to avoid causing harm and violating human rights (Principle 7); 
  • Policy coherence between the adopted policies and the relevant state institutions in providing information and support on how business enterprises should respect human rights (Principle 8). 

Pillar 2: Provides the model of what is expected by business enterprises to respect human rights. The model includes avoiding infringing on the human rights of others and addressing adverse human rights impacts.

The focus is on:

  • Applying a human-centred approach to risk management but not only to business risk.
  • The responsibility to respect human rights includes own operations of the business enterprise and the value chain;
  • Compliance with local legislation is not a prerequisite for meeting the requirements of the Guiding Principles;
  • Philanthropy and corporate volunteerism cannot compensate for the negative impact of business on human rights;
The UNGPs set out requirements for business enterprises whose activities may pose a significant risk of human rights violations to engage with stakeholders when conducting human rights due diligence. A public commitment covers the processes, engagement and responsibility to respect human rights (principle 16)
  • A human rights due diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for and  how they address their human rights impacts (Link to Principle 17)
  • A human rights impact assessment (Link to Principle 18)
  • A process for compensating those who have been harmed by the activities or decisions of the business enterprises(principle 22)
Pillar 3: Ensuring access to effective legal means and compensation through state judicial and non-judicial mechanisms:
  • Ensuring access to effective legal means (Principle 25)
  • State-based judicial mechanisms (Principle 26)
  • Provision of state-based non-judicial grievance mechanism ( Principle 27)
  • Access to non-state grievance mechanisms often administered by business enterprises (Principle 28)
  • Address grievances as early as possible and provide an appropriate remedy
Разрешаването на множество проблеми чрез дигитални продукти и иновации е неоспорим факт,

The state should provide access to judicial and non-judicial mechanisms to address human rights violations and provide appropriate remedies. The non-state judicial mechanisms should complement state mechanisms, and be implemented by companies either at the national level or as part of multilateral initiatives. Non-judicial mechanisms should meet the following criteria: legitimacy, accessibility, predictability, impartiality,  transparency (being human rights-friendly), and inclusion of open dialogue and engagement at the company level.