In June 2011, following six years of multi-stakeholder consultation and research, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, authored by Shift’s Chair and the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. The Guiding Principles elaborate upon the 2008 UN “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework on business and human rights, also developed by the former Special Representative.
The UN “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework describes what companies are required to do: namely, respect human rights throughout their business operations and the UN Guiding Principles detail how companies can know and show that they respect human rights in practice. However, there is yet no global and widely accepted process for companies to demonstrate whether their policies and processes are indeed aligned with the UN Guiding Principles and therefore capable of meeting their responsibility to respect human rights.
To fill this gap, Mazars and Shift launched a project to design a global and widely accepted process for companies to assure their stakeholders that they are meeting their responsibility to respect human rights in practice.
The project has been officially supported by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and has been overseen by an Eminent Persons Group comprised of a select number of high-level individuals from governments, international organisations, businesses, and professional associations.
The Reporting Framework has now been drafted and is being launched in London on 24 February 2015. The Assurance Framework will be launched towards the end of 2015.