Business and Human Rights – Guidance for Boards

18 May 2016

​The Equality and Human Rights Commission, Great Britain, has launched a Guide for Board members on Business and Human Rights. This Guide sets out five simple steps to help board directors understand what they need to do to ‘know’ and ‘show’ their company respects human rights in practice.

Human rights make business sense. Companies that make human rights a cornerstone of their operations thrive – with their reputation enhanced.

This short guide will empower boards to ask the right questions of their executive teams, and to champion human rights from the top-down.

Rather than treating human rights as an issue of compliance, boards can ensure that UK businesses lead the world in integrating human rights with business.

Caroline Waters, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

If corporates are to thrive they must recognise their vital role in improving the human condition of which human rights are a fundamental component.

This short guide is essential reading in thinking how they should go about it and reporting on the outcomes.

Mike Ashley, Chair of Audit Committee at Barclays PLC and member of our Expert Advisory Group

Five years after the adoption of the global standard on human rights — the UN Guiding Principles — it is increasingly evident that the strongest, most sustainable companies demonstrate a tone from the top that states clearly, ‘human rights are a core matter for this company.

I am very pleased to see this guidance being issued for UK Boards and urge company leaders in all countries to act upon its concise, need-to-know guidance.

Professor John Ruggie, Chair of Shift and the author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business Rights and Human Rights


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