The adoption of the Protect, Respect and Remedy framework in 2011 moved ten companies of the Dutch Global Compact network (AkzoNobel, Essent, Fortis Bank, Nederland, KLM, Philips, Rabobank, Randstad, Shell, TNT, and Unilever) to work together in a 'Business & Human Rights Initiative'. This project consisted of assessing the human rights agendas of the ten participating companies against the Ruggie recommendations, as well as a series of workshops and brainstorms on various parts of the framework. This book synthesizes the findings into general guidance points for companies on how to build human rights into the business agenda. Any company that is looking for ways to integrate consideration for human rights into its business operations may find that this document provides both a practical starting point and will help refine already existing human rights approaches.
The book centers around the concept of human rights due diligence, an ongoing process, whereby “companies become aware of, prevent, and mitigate adverse human rights impacts." The four core elements of human rights due diligence, as outlined in the 2008 report outlining the Protect, Respect and Remedy framework are:
- having a human rights policy,
- assessing human rights impacts of company activities,
- integrating those values and findings into corporate cultures and management systems, and
- tracking as well as reporting performance.
Together with grievance mechanisms, these elements form the framework for the Business & Human Rights Initiative and this report.