Business and Human Rights Global Project

Promoting Responsible Business Conduct in target countries where Japanese companies operate, with a particular focus on promoting human rights due diligence in global supply chains and leveraging the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for a just recovery: (B+HR)

Status: Ongoing
Project Number: 140956
Start Date: March 2022
End Date: March 2023
Focus area: Business and Human Rights
Project office: UNDP in Mongolia
Donor: Government of Japan
Project geographical scope: Mongolia and 17 countries across 5 regions globally

Project Background

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, are the most authoritative guidelines on how to "prevent and address human rights abuses in business operations." As part of its overall work on human rights, UNDP has supported the implementation of UNGPs by countries and corporations worldwide. The Business and Human Rights (B+HR) program was first piloted in Asia in 2016, where UNDP was soon recognized as the convener on B+HR discourse through its support to Asian governments in developing policies and through peer learning activities, including its annual regional B+HR forums for Asia.

UNDP has since scaled up its work by creating a Global Initiative on Business and Human Rights. As part of this process, UNDP is cooperating with the Government of Japan on the JSB project. Funded by the Japanese Supplementary Budget (JSB) approved in 2021, one of the JSB project’s outcomes is to build the capacities of local and international companies, their suppliers and partners in driving a just recovery in 17 target countries, including Mongolia.

A growing number of countries, including Germany, France and the UK have already introduced normative provisions on the subject. The expected EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, once approved, will bring about human rights and environmental due diligence requirements for all large companies operating in its territory. In the US, withhold release orders are prohibiting the import of goods associated with forced labor.

Pressure on companies does not come only from policy and normative instruments: consumers’ and investors’ expectations not to be associated with issues such as child labor or modern slavery are rising, as is the attention of the media on irresponsible business practices around the world.

In today’s globalized market, companies that can prove to care about the wellbeing of society are better able to manage their legal, operational, financial and reputational risks while ensuring steady levels of long-term competitiveness.

Project summary

Business and Human Rights (B+HR) Global project is part of UNDP’s Rule of Law and Human Rights Global Programme. The project aims to advance responsible business practices for a just recovery with a particular focus on promoting human rights due diligence in global supply chains and leveraging the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) through interventions at global, regional, and country levels as well as by public, private and civil society.

 

Project objectives

To further responsible business practices, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) require businesses to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD): to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on people and the environment, thereby helping them manage potential and actual risks.

The B+HR Global project's outcome is to promote a just recovery while preserving the competitiveness of local and international companies including Japanese companies in Mongolia. The project will strengthen responsible business practices in Mongolia through improving the ability and understanding of national authorities, local and international companies including Japanese businesses, suppliers and partners to carry out Human Rights Due Diligence. The project has two outputs, of which Mongolia will implement output one:

Output 1: Local and international companies including Japanese companies, their suppliers and partners are supported in their efforts to remain competitive and drive a just recovery by ensuring compliance with Human Rights Standards throughout their value chains.

Activity 1.1: Context Assessment Study to identify human rights risks that are commonly faced by local and international companies including Japanese companies and their suppliers and partners in Mongolia.

Activity 1.2: Carry out Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) Trainings, which are tailored to address common risks faced by the study respondent companies and their suppliers/partners operating in Mongolia.

Activity 1.3: Offer Closed-door Guidance Sessions to individual companies on an initial confidential review of their readiness to implement HRDD and on human rights impact assessment.