Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

September 13, 2022

The UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council by Resolution 17/4 on 16 June 2011, are a set of 31 principles directed at governments and businesses that clarify their duties and responsibilities in the context of business operations.  

According to the UNGPs:  

  • Governments have a duty to protect everyone within their jurisdiction from environmental and social impacts caused by business practice; 

  • Businesses have a responsibility to avoid environmental and social impacts wherever they operate and whatever their size or industry, and address any impact that does occur;  

  • When environmental and/or social impacts occur, both governments and businesses have a duty/responsibility to support victims to access effective remedies through judicial and non-judicial grievance mechanisms. 

The UNGPs serve as a key international standard for responsible business practice and a common platform for accountability against which the conduct of both governments and businesses can be assessed.