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The objective of human rights due diligence is to prevent and mitigate potential impacts on people’s human rights. After identifying human rights risks, companies need to take action to tackle them. Prevention and mitigation efforts are forward looking – they are focused on attempting to stop potential impacts before they happen, or to reduce their severity as much as possible. Where this involves impacts caused by third parties, a company’s leverage over those third parties becomes crucial. Leverage means the ability to change another’s behavior to try to prevent impacts from occurring. Where impacts do occur despite efforts to prevent them, then the need for remedy comes into the picture. Click on Remediate to learn more about remedy. 

Learn more: see all our resource library listings below, as well as specific sections from these comprehensive resources:



Webinar: Integrating Human Rights Considerations Into Mergers and Acquisitions

April 2016 | Shift, UN Global Compact

This webinar, hosted by the UN Global Compact, provides an overview and discussion of how human rights can and should be considered in mergers and acquisitions processes. It features speakers from Shift, Total and Ericsson.

Video: Introduction to Salient Human Rights Issues

February 2016 | Shift and Mazars; UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework

What are salient human rights issues and why do they matter? This short video introduces the concept and explains how companies should focus on salient issues for both action and reporting.

What Do Human Rights Have to Do With Mergers and Acquisitions?

January 2016 | Anna Triponel, Shift

This resource provides guidance on how companies can identify and address human rights risks when structuring mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions.

Corporate Contradictions

September 2015 | Caroline Rees

How companies can avoid four stumbling blocks on the path to respect for human rights.

Human Rights Due Diligence in High Risk Circumstances

March 2015 | Shift

This resource focuses on how to do human rights due diligence in high risk circumstances – and how to identify those circumstances in the first place.

Business and Human Rights Impacts: Identifying and Prioritizing Human Rights Risks

January 2014 | Shift

This report reflects learning from a workshop with 12 Dutch companies together with expert stakeholders about how companies can identify and prioritize human rights risks and test their findings through stakeholder engagement.

Using Leverage in Business Relationships to Reduce Human Rights Risks

November 2013 | Shift

This resource walks readers through how a company can systematically and strategically influence the behavior of others, including in its value chain, when seeking to prevent or address human rights risks.

From Audit to Innovation: Advancing Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

August 2013 | Shift

This resource reviews the limitations of audits as human rights risk assessment and management tools, and offers examples and case studies of alternative and complementary approaches pioneered by companies in different sectors.

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