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A Guide for Business: How to Develop a Human Rights Policy

United Nations Global Compact
This resource provides a comprehensive outline on how to develop a human rights policy to help an organization express its commitment to respect internationally recognized human rights standards. All companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, which means to avoid infringing on the human rights of others and to address these impacts where they occur. Thus, developing a human rights policy shows that a company understands its responsibility and provides a basis for embedding it through all business functions.

All policies should at minimum comprise an explicit commitment to respect all international recognized human rights standards (e.g. International Bill of Rights and ILO’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work); stipulations on company’s expectations of personnel, business partners, and other relevant parties; and information on how the company will implement its commitment.

These are the steps provided in this guide to develop a human rights policy:

  • Assign senior management responsibility to drive the process
  • Involve cross-functional personnel (human resources, legal, procurement, security, etc.) in the process to build understanding, know-how, and a sense of common purpose
  • Identify and draw on internal and/or external human rights expertise
  • Map existing company policies to identify human rights coverage and gaps
  • Conduct a basic mapping of the company’s key potential human rights impacts
  • Consult internal and external stakeholders to identify and respond to their expectations
  • Communicate the policy internally and externally
  • Reflect human rights policy in operational policies and procedures

To learn more, click here.