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.
June 2011 | John G. Ruggie; UN Human Rights Council, UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights | Pages: 30
This resource is based on extensive consultation during Ruggie’s UN mandate with government and company legal representatives involved in such negotiations, particularly from the African region. The summary is excerpted from the resource. We also recommend training materials related to this topic issued by the UN.
Every business venture has the potential to have positive and negative impacts on people and human rights – those rights and freedoms that the international community has agreed that people need in order to live with dignity. In some cases, where the potential positive and negative human rights impacts of a venture are direct and significant, managing human rights risks will be an essential consideration to be included at the earliest stages of the life cycle of the venture. This is the case where the project presents either large-scale or significant social, economic or environmental risks or opportunities, or involves the depletion of renewable or non-renewable natural resources.
In such cases, irrespective of the sector involved, the negotiation process between a host State and a business investor offers a unique opportunity to identify, avoid and mitigate human rights risks. This will help optimize the full range of benefits to be drawn from the investment and help ensure the potential negative impacts on people are avoided or mitigated. Moreover, these principles will help ensure that States maintain adequate policy space in the investment contract, including for the protection of human rights, while avoiding claims relative to the contract in binding international arbitration.
The 10 principles that can help guide the integration of human rights risk management into contract negotiations are listed below: