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Protect

States have a duty to protect human rights against abuse by third parties, including businesses. States are expected to do so by establishing appropriate policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication.

Pillar I: State Duty to Protect

The first pillar of the Guiding Principles provides recommendations on how states can meet their existing international human rights obligations to protect against business-related human rights abuses by creating an environment that is conducive to business respect for human rights, including by:

  • Working to achieve greater legal and policy coherence between their human rights obligations and their actions with respect to business, including by enforcing existing laws, identifying and addressing any policy or regulatory gaps and providing effective guidance to business;
  • Fostering business respect for human rights both at home and abroad;
  • Taking particular measures where there is a close nexus between the state and business such as ownership or when a state conducts commercial transactions with business (such as through government procurement or the provision of trade or export credit support);
  • Helping ensure that businesses operating in conflict-affected areas do not commit or contribute to serious human rights abuses;
  • Fulfilling their duty to protect when they participate in multilateral institutions (e.g., World Bank, OECD) with other states. 

States also have obligations when it comes to providing remedy, which is addressed in Pillar 3.



Building Capacity on the UN Guiding Principles in Ghana

June 2014 | Partners: Ghana Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Centre for Research on Multinational Enterprises (SOMO)

Shift and the Ghana Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice jointly organized three capacity building workshops in Accra for various stakeholder groups.

Raising Awareness on the Guiding Principles in Zambia

July 2013 | Partners: Caritas-Zambia

In collaboration with partners, Shift facilitated awareness raising workshops in Lusaka, Zambia for government, business and civil society.

Collaborating With the IFC on Guidance for High Risk Contexts

March 2013 | Partners: International Finance Corporation

Shift provided expert input to the International Finance Corporation on potential good practice guidance for its private sector clients on human rights due diligence in high risk circumstances.

Supporting the Norwegian OECD National Contact Point

January 2013 | Partners: Norwegian OECD National Contact Point

Shift provided support to the Norwegian National Contact Point as it underwent a formal peer review process in 2013 in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

How to Use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Company Research and Advocacy: A Guide for Civil Society Organisations

November 2012 | Mariëtte van Huijstee, Victor Ricco, Laura Ceresna-Chaturvedi; Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA), Cividep India

This guide is authored by leading civil society organizations in Argentina, India and the Netherlands.

Advising the Peruvian Financial Regulator on Improved Corporate Management of Social Conflict

October 2012 | Partners: Peruvian Superintendency of Banks, Insurers and Private Pension Funds

Shift supported the Superintendency of Banks, Insurers and Private Pension Funds in Peru in the development and implementation of a new regulation to strengthen due diligence in the Peruvian financial sector.

The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: An Interpretive Guide

November 2011 | United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

This resource is the official guidance issued by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for implementers of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Principles for Responsible Contracts: Integrating the Management of Human Rights Risks Into State-Investor Contract Negotiations: Guidance for Negotiators

June 2011 | John G. Ruggie; UN Human Rights Council, UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights

This resource, issued as an addendum to Ruggie’s final report to the UN Human Rights Council, outlines 10 principles designed to help guide the integration of human rights risk management into contract negotiations.