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Doing Business With Respect for Human Rights

This comprehensive and foundational guide offers practical advice, experiences and insights to help companies respect human rights.

November 2016 | Global Compact Network Netherlands, Oxfam, Shift | Pages: 136, or available as interactive webpages

This guide is available on its dedicated website, www.businessrespecthumanrights.org. The website features the guide as interactive webpages as well as a downloadable PDF. The multimedia case stories from Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey are also available on the website.

If you need to understand what it means to do business with respect for human rights, look no further than this guide.

“Doing Business With Respect for Human Rights” is a comprehensive guide designed for companies of all sizes, sectors and geographies. It is intended to equip readers with practical advice and real-life examples that help to translate the high-level expectations in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into concrete action.

The guide is the joint product of the partners in the Global Perspectives Project, an innovative collaboration between the Global Compact Network Netherlands, Oxfam and Shift, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 2014 to 2016, the project partners worked with local Oxfam affiliates and Global Compact local networks to deliver workshops in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. The workshops brought companies and civil society stakeholders together for frank sharing of perspectives, challenges and ways forward on ensuring greater business respect for human rights.

The resulting guide includes the perspectives of both companies as well as civil society organizations, and draws on learning from those country workshops. It features step-by-step guidance points, pitfalls to avoid and suggestions for small- and medium-sized enterprises. It also includes leading examples of company policies and practices, addresses current discussion topics like the Sustainable Development Goals, and answers tough questions like “Why should companies care about respecting human rights?”. The guide is intended for companies, but should also be useful for their stakeholders, such as civil society organizations and investors.

The guide’s dedicated website (click image above) also features multimedia case stories from the four focus countries. These stories share various perspectives about building good relationships with communities around a paper and pulp mill in Indonesia; how a legacy of mistrust with the community damaged the development of a wind farm in Mexico; about making respect for human rights part of a bank’s everyday business in post-apartheid South Africa; and about working to ensure workers’ rights are respected in clothing manufacturing in Turkey.

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