Guidance for business 

Introducing the Guiding Principles that every business needs to know about. 

In June 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Guiding Principles). 

These principles provide a global standard for addressing and preventing human rights impacts associated with business activity. Lots of businesses are using the Guiding Principles and there are real benefits for companies that embed human rights considerations into core business practices. 

Together with the International Bill of Rights and the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Guiding Principles show where business responsibilities lie. 

It is important to keep in mind that the Guiding Principles are principles – they’re not a toolkit you take off the shelf ready to go. They are designed to guide your thinking so you can tailor them to your business and industry type, helping you add value to your business.

The Guiding Principles at a glance 

The Guiding Principles outline the steps businesses should take to embed human rights into core practice, and provide a framework for managing human rights risks through due diligence. The process will vary for each company depending on the type of business and where it operates.

The Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework:

The Guiding Principles have three pillars known as the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, comprising:

  • the State duty to protect human rights
  • the corporate responsibility to respect human rights
  • the need for appropriate and effective remedy for victims of business-related abuse.

The complete Guiding Principles are available at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre


This podcast discusses the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.