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Human Rights Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative

This initiative seeks to provide companies with comprehensive guidance about how to report on and assure human rights management and performance.

November 2012

PARTNERS: Mazars

The Human Rights Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative (RAFI) is a multistakeholder consultative process that supported the development of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and its two supporting guidances: implementation guidance for companies that are reporting, and assurance guidance for internal auditors and external assurance providers. The UNGP Reporting Framework, its supporting guidances and additional insights about trends in existing company reporting on human rights are available at www.UNGPreporting.org.

Documentation about the consultative process of RAFI is kindly hosted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. This page provides an overview of the UNGP Reporting Framework -- we encourage readers to also visit the Framework's dedicated website.

In August 2016, Shift began a multi-year, multi-country reporting program that uses the UNGP Reporting Framework to catalyze improved reporting and performance by companies on human rights. Learn more about that program here.

What is the UNGP Reporting Framework?

“The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is an indispensable tool that companies have been waiting for. This tool will mark a major breakthrough in company relations with individuals and communities whose lives they impact.” – John Ruggie, author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on human rights issues in line with their responsibility to respect human rights. This responsibility is set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which constitute the authoritative global standard in this field. The UNGP Reporting Framework was launched in February 2015.

The Reporting Framework provides a concise set of questions to which any company should strive to have answers in order to know and show that it is meeting its responsibility to respect human rights in practice. It offers companies clear and straightforward guidance on how to answer these questions with relevant and meaningful information about their human rights policies, processes and performance.

The Reporting Framework is supported by two kinds of guidance: implementation guidance for companies that are reporting, and assurance guidance for internal auditors and external assurance providers.

> Click here to see the latest news on the UNGP Reporting Framework

How the Reporting Framework Was Developed

The UNGP Reporting Framework was developed through the Human Rights Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative (RAFI). RAFI was co-facilitated by Shift and Mazars through an open, global, consultative process involving representatives from over 200 companies, investor groups, civil society organizations, governments, assurance providers, lawyers and other expert organizations from all regions of the world. Consultations took place in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Jakarta, London, Manila, Medellin, New York and Yangon.

The Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative was overseen by an Eminent Persons Group. Further information about the project team and the Eminent Persons Group can be viewed here. RAFI was made possible by grants from the governments of Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework equips us to understand what we may face – it reduces the number of unknown unknowns.” — Richard Kooloos, Head of Sustainable Banking, ABN AMRO; early adopter of the UNGP Reporting Framework

Support for the Reporting Framework

The Reporting Framework is supported by an investor coalition of 87 investors representing $5.3 trillion assets under management, by six early adopter companies and by leading institutions including the UN Working Group on business and human rights, the UN Global Compact and the International Integrated Reporting Council.

The Framework is cited and recommended by multiple governments in policy and guidance documents. Hundreds of companies have participated in training and outreach on the Framework, and dozens more are using the Framework for both internal management of human rights as well as for reporting. | Learn more about what supporters and users say about the UNGP Reporting Framework

The UNGP Reporting Framework is, “an essential tool that enables investors to review companies’ understanding and management of human rights risks. It will also guide us in our engagement with companies going forward.” — investor statement of support

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