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
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
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.