FEATURED: What is the responsibility of financial institutions in regards to human rights? Learn about our work with financial institutions and guidance
Developments in the legal profession in regards to providing counsel to corporate clients on preventing human rights impacts continue to advance, most recently in Europe.
February 2018 | Partners: Regional Partners: The Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the ASEAN CSR Network and the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business; Funders: Humanity United and Norges Bank Investment Management
The way businesses' social performance gets measured isn't working - at Shift, we are starting a major new collaboration to help change that.
December 2017 | Partners: Danish Institute for Human Rights
This collaborative project will equip and inspire companies to adopt coherent sustainable development strategies by embracing the power of initiatives that drive respect for human rights across operations and value chains.
In collaboration with leading civil society organizations, we call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres and United Nations Private Sector Forum 2017 participants to connect sustainable development with business respect for human rights.
July 2017 | International Bar Assocation
This handbook, published by the International Bar Association, aims to assist lawyers who seek to integrate business and human rights considerations into the advice they provide to clients in relation to M&A and commercial transactions.
June 2017 | Shift
In May 2017 we submitted a position statement to the Australian government regarding its consideration of creating a regulation on business responsibility related to modern slavery.
This short framework for analysis and action offers a straightforward way for any company to work out how it should and can contribute to sustainable development.
May 2017 | Michelle Langlois, Shift; supported by the UK Department for International Development, EY and Hermes Investment Management
This research assesses 74 of the world's largest companies for their maturity in reporting on human rights.
February 2017 | John G. Ruggie
Author of the Guiding Principles and Shift Chair John Ruggie writes to the President of the European Commission calling for greater EU leadership on business and human rights issues.
February 2017 | John G. Ruggie
In this keynote address to G20 countries, Shift Chair and Guiding Principles author John Ruggie argues that effectively managed global supply chains can be significant leverage points to make globalization work better for all.
January 2017 | Shift | Partners: Norges Bank Investment Management
Summary report from a workshop facilitated by Shift for Norges Bank Investment Management and investee companies
November 2016 | Global Compact Network Netherlands, Oxfam, Shift
This comprehensive and foundational guide offers practical advice, experiences and insights to help companies respect human rights.
November 2016 | Caroline Rees, Shift; Business and Sustainable Development Commission
Companies’ single greatest opportunity to contribute to human development lies in advancing respect for the human rights of workers and communities touched by their value chains.
November 2016 | John G. Ruggie
Respect for the dignity of every person is at the very core of the people part of sustainable development — and is critical for a socially sustainable globalization.
For business to realize its full contribution to sustainable development, it must put efforts to advance respect for human rights at the heart of its strategy.
September 2016 | Shift
In this webinar, Shift President Caroline Rees says that for business to realize its full contribution to sustainable development, it must put efforts to advance respect for human rights at the heart of its strategy.
September 2016 | Shift
In September 2016 we submitted comments to the Italian government to support its development of a National Action Plan on business and human rights.
September 2016 | David W. Rivkin, President
International Bar Association President David. W. Rivkin writes about the far-reaching implications of the IBA's new Practical Guide for business lawyers on human rights.
August 2016 | Partners: Mazars, Boston Common Asset Management, Clinique internationale de défense des droits humains de l’Université de Québec à Montréal, EY, Hermes Investment Management, Walden Asset Management
Through our reporting program we engage with companies, governments, investors and others about how reporting can be a driver of improved business respect for human rights.
August 2016 | Caroline Rees and Rachel Davis, Co-Founders of Shift
Five years after the endorsement of the Guiding Principles at the UN - and the founding of Shift - we reflect on five positive areas of progress, and five areas where urgent progress is needed.
August 2016 | Partners: public and private financial institutions, including individual export credit agencies, development finance institutions and private banks
We're working directly with financial institutions and policymakers to build understanding of how the UN Guiding Principles can help financial institutions better manage risks to people arising from the projects and clients that they finance.
July 2016 | Partners: New Zealand Human Rights Commission; New Zealand Superannuation Fund
This educational and awareness series featured a week of discussions on business and human rights in New Zealand.
June 2016 | CDC - development financial institution of the UK government
This briefing note, issued by CDC, the development finance institution of the UK, aims to provide fund managers with a practical introduction to human rights.
June 2016 | International Bar Association
This foundational guidance, issued by the International Bar Association, is designed to help bar associations and business lawyers everywhere understand the Guiding Principles.
New guidance published by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission tells company boards what they need to know about human rights.
May 2016 | International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
This comprehensive guide is designed to help victims, their representatives and civil society organizations seek justice for victims of human rights abuses involving multinational corporations.
May 2016 | UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; UN Human Rights Council
This report, issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, sets out guidance for states to improve access to judicial remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses.
May 2016 | Shift and UK Equality and Human Rights Commission
This short guidance provides “need to know” information for company leaders about how to meet the UN Guiding Principles’ expectations of doing business with respect for human rights.
April 2016 | John G. Ruggie; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This independent report by former Special Representative John Ruggie and Shift recommends how global football body FIFA needs to manage the far-reaching human rights risks associated with its activities and relationships.
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.
March 2016 | Rachel Davis, Shift; Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect
This resource examines how companies can be involved in mass atrocity crimes, such as genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity, and how the responsibilities of states and companies intersect when human rights are at heightened risk.
February 2016 | John G. Ruggie
This open letter was authored by Shift Chair John Ruggie and sent to the heads of the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development.
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.
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.
December 2015 | Shift, UN Global Compact
This webinar explores how business can use the UN Guiding Principles Framework to report in a meaningful way on human rights risks and impacts. The webinar also features speakers from Shift, H&M and Newmont.
December 2015 | Shift; International Labour Organization, International Organisation of Employers
This comprehensive guidance covers all aspects of implementing the Guiding Principles for companies, specifically focused on eliminating child labor.
December 2015 | Partners: Harvard Kennedy Schoool
Shift Chair John Ruggie conducted an independent review and issued recommendations for FIFA on human rights, with support from the Shift team.
November 2015 | UN Global Compact
This foundational resource walks companies through the process of committing to respect human rights: developing a human rights policy.
October 2015 | John G. Ruggie and John F. Sherman III; Oxford Journal of International Dispute Settlement
This article argues that the Guiding Principles add significant “punch” to the private law of contracts when major international businesses require their partners and suppliers to comply with the Guiding Principles.
How companies can avoid four stumbling blocks on the path to respect for human rights.
September 2015 | Partners: UK Equality and Human Rights Commission; UK Financial Reporting Council
This collaboration aims to improve UK-quoted company boards' and investors' understanding of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
July 2015 | Shift
This brief explains how the UK Modern Slavery Act aligns to the Guiding Principles, and how companies can meaningfully and efficiently meet expectations of both the Act and the Guiding Principles.
July 2015 | Partners: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands
Shift is supporting the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs as part of a process to engage leading Dutch business sectors in developing sector-based covenants to address “international CSR” risks.
May 2015 | John G. Ruggie and Tamaryn Nelson, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This paper analyzes the use of the OECD National Contact Point system as a means to bring complaints against multinational corporations in relation to human rights impacts, and offers suggestions about how to strengthen the system.
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.
February 2015 | Shift, Mazars
The UNGP Reporting Framework and its 31 “smart” questions guide a company through the steps they should take to both manage human rights risks and report on them.
February 2015 | Shift and Mazars; UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
This glossary provides standard definitions for key terminology on the topic of business and human rights.
February 2015 | Shift and Mazars; UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
This concise table includes a summary list of internationally recognized human rights, provides a short explanation of each right, and offers examples of how business activities could impact the right.
January 2015 | Shift and Pacific Institute; UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate
This comprehensive guidance covers all aspects of implementing the Guiding Principles for companies, specifically focused on the rights to water and sanitation.
The International Bar Association has issued draft guidance for legal professionals on the Guiding Principles.
October 2014 | Partners: Consensus Building Institute
Over a period of several years, Shift supported several National Contact Point systems to help them better fulfill their role as part of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
October 2014 | Partners: Oxfam, Global Compact Network Netherlands
This collaboration looks at how companies in emerging economies are implementing the Guiding Principles.
October 2014 | Partners: Nordic Trust Fund
To help World Bank staff better understand how human rights relate to their core work, Shift interviewed issue experts and facilitated a workshop about experiences implementing human rights due diligence.
September 2014 | Partners: CSR Europe
Shift provided expert support to CSR Europe to help its member companies understand how to effectively embed respect for human rights across their operations, and particularly in the key functions in human resources, procurement and risk.
Neither companies nor governments should fear that the treaty process in Geneva is a diversion from, or dilution of, what has been achieved in the last 10 years with the Guiding Principles.
The UK Financial Reporting Council's new guidance lays out expectations for companies on reporting on human rights.
June 2014 | Shift
This resource analyzes corporate reporting from 43 companies between 2013 and 2014 to examine how they report on human rights in line with expectations of the Guiding Principles.
June 2014 | Partners: Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK)
Shift provided expert support to the Agency in 2013 on policies, stakeholder engagement and grievance pathways related to business and human rights.
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.
May 2014 | Shift; UN Global Compact
This UN Global Compact good practice note examines different models for how companies assign responsibility for human rights within the company, and compares relative merits of each model.
May 2014 | Shift
This resource reviews what companies are expected to do to provide remedy when human rights impacts have already occurred, whether in their own operations or in their value chains, in line with the Guiding Principles.
May 2014 | Rachel Davis and Daniel Franks; Shift and Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This groundbreaking research quantifies the costs of getting stakeholder engagement wrong in the extractives sector – namely, the costs of conflict between extractive companies and local communities.
The adoption of the EU law on non-financial reporting is a potentially pivotal moment for the advancement of responsible business conduct.
March 2014 | Filip Gregor
A critical look at the role of companies in society, and the concept of shareholder value.
February 2014 | John F. Sherman III, Shift; Juriste International
This short article lays out why business lawyers need to understand the Guiding Principles and consider human rights as part of due diligence they perform for clients and companies.
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.
December 2013 | Partners: Better Work Programme, International Labour Organization
In collaboration with the ILO's Better Work Programme, Shift developed a manual for Enterprise Advisors to integrate guidance on effective factory-level grievance mechanisms into the support that Better Work provides to factories.
November 2013 | John G. Ruggie
Shift Chair and Guiding Principles author John Ruggie reflects on the implications of the Guiding Principles for lawyers.
November 2013 | Shift
This resource reviews regulatory and stock engage requirements on corporate reporting that reference human rights. The research took place in 2013 – since that time, a number of corporate reporting requirements have been developed or amended.
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.
November 2013 | Shift, John G. Ruggie
In 2013, Shift submitted comments to the UK Financial Reporting Council regarding draft guidance for companies on compliance with the UK Companies Act.
Can corporate avoidance of taxes also lead to human rights harms?
Shift and our Chair John Ruggie submit proposals to the Commission to enhance the alignment of the proposed Directive with the Guiding Principles.
September 2013 | Sean Ansett
Moving from auditing and codes to business integration and long-term relationships.
September 2013 | Global Social Compliance Programme, Consumer Goods Forum
This resource, developed with support from Shift, is designed for suppliers to help them assess and manage social and labor rights risks through robust management systems.
August 2013 | Shift
This resource helps companies understand what the Guiding Principles expect when they use the term “meaningful stakeholder engagement" and summarizes particular aspects of stakeholder engagement that are critical for implementing the Guiding Principles.
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.
August 2013 | Brian Ganson
Skilled mediators can help resolve complex company-community conflicts.
July 2013 | Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD
This guide, authored by the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, is designed for trade unions and provides an overview of the Guidelines and how trade unions can make use of them.
July 2013 | Partners: Caritas-Zambia
In collaboration with partners, Shift facilitated awareness raising workshops in Lusaka, Zambia for government, business and civil society.
July 2013 | Partners: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Shift authored a discussion paper for the OECD on stakeholder engagement in the extractive industry, setting out options and recommendations for a proposed "user guide" to address this issue.
June 2013 | European Commission; Shift and Institute for Human Rights and Business
These three comprehensive guidance documents cover all aspects of implementing the Guiding Principles for companies in three sectors: information and communication technologies (ICT), oil and gas and employment and recruitment.
As Myanmar opens for business, how can companies ensure they hear from potentially affected people?
May 2013 | Emma Wilson and Emma Blackmore; International Institute for Environment and Development
This book explores the use and impact of company-community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas, forestry, and mining sectors through a series of practical case studies.
April 2013 | Shift
This resource, based on extensive on-the-ground stakeholder consultations, is designed to help companies in or planning to enter the Myanmar market to develop and implement a stakeholder engagement strategy, aligned to the Guiding Principles.
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.
February 2013 | Shift, adelphi; German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
This study, partially authored by Shift and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, reviews how the German government could support the implementation of the Guiding Principles.
January 2013 | John F. Sherman III; In-House Defense Quarterly
This resource focuses on the significance and implications of the Guiding Principles for corporate lawyers and the role of lawyers in meeting client business goals while respecting human rights.
January 2013 | Global Social Compliance Programme, Consumer Goods Forum
This resource, developed with support from Shift, provides a framework based on current good practices for companies that are developing a social compliance management system, or improving an existing supply chain social compliance monitoring program.
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.
January 2013 | Partners: adelphi
Shift helped to author guidance for the German government on implementation of the Guiding Principles in Germany.
November 2012 | Partners: Mazars
This initiative seeks to provide companies with comprehensive guidance about how to report on and assure human rights management and performance.
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.
October 2012 | John S. Sherman III; Shift
Former corporate lawyer and Shift General Counsel John Sherman argues that potential concerns about conducting human rights due diligence are more than offset by the benefits of doing it.
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.
October 2012 | Partners: ICTI CARE Foundation
Shift conducted a high-level gap analysis designed to review and assess the general strengths and weaknesses of ICTI CARE processes against the Guiding Principles.
September 2012 | Caroline Rees, Deanna Kemp, Rachel Davis; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This study examines company policies and processes for and attitudes towards company-community conflict in the extractives sector in Peru.
September 2012 | Partners: Pacific Institute, UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate
This collaboration focused on developing guidance to help companies respect the human rights to water and sanitation.
September 2012 | Partners: Global Social Compliance Programme (Consumer Goods Forum)
This collaboration sought to identify, analyze and disseminate innovative models that incentivize good labor rights practices in global supply chains.
August 2012 | International Bar Association, UN Global Compact
This instructional video series shares insights from leading experts and practitioners about the important role of lawyers in the design and management of corporate policies and practices on human rights.
August 2012 | Shift
This resource examines how companies can implement the Guiding Principles throughout their supply chains, including identifying and prioritizing risks, using their leverage, understanding the role of auditing and supporting grievance mechanisms.
July 2012 | Shift
This analysis by Shift reviews the implications of the Guiding Principles for the work of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a multistakeholder initiative focusing on workers’ rights.
June 2012 | Shift
This resource captures and distills company reflections on what it takes to embed respect for human rights into corporate culture, including senior management buy-in, balancing competing priorities and effective communication.
June 2012 | Rick Relinger; Shift
This paper analyzes how corporate culture evolves and changes, and identifies stumbling blocks and lessons for success for companies seeking to make respect for human rights part of their corporate culture and they do business every day.
June 2012 | Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This documentary series looks at how companies and communities have resolved disputes over corporate activities on three specific projects: an oil and gas facility in Nigeria, a mine in Peru and a hydropower project in the Philippines.
Hard and soft law developments with implications for lawyers as they advise corporate clients on human rights.
March 2012 | John G. Ruggie
This Viewpoint by Shift Chair and Guiding Principles author John Ruggie looks at the early years of implementation of the Guiding Principles.
February 2012 | Partners: International Labour Organization - International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour; International Organisation of Employers
In collaboration with our partners at the ILO and IOE, as well as multiple companies in different sectors, we assessed how companies are managing child labor risks on the ground, to inform the development of comprehensive guidance.
February 2012 | Partners: Institute for Human Rights and Business; European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise
This collaboration with a range of practitioners and stakeholders led to the development of guidance for three sectors on implementing the Guiding Principles.
February 2012 | Partners: Fair Labor Association
In 2012, Shift helped the Fair Labor Association assess the implications of the Guiding Principles for its work.
February 2012 | Partners: Global Network Initiative
Helping a multistakeholder initiative solicit information and feedback from the public on issues related to privacy and freedom of expression.
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.
November 2011 | Advocates for International Development
This discussion paper, produced just after the endorsement of the Guiding Principles, addresses legal professionals key responsibilities when it comes to human rights, and identifies leading practices.
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.
June 2011 | John G. Ruggie; United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
This resource is the global authoritative standard on the business responsibility to respect human rights, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.
May 2011 | Caroline Rees; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This comprehensive study of what constitutes effective operational-level grievance mechanisms was produced as part of the Ruggie mandate and was published by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. Its findings are reflected in the Guiding Principles.
May 2011 | John G. Ruggie; UN Human Rights Council
This report summarizes the findings based on extensive research and consultation with corporate law experts in multiple jurisdictions regarding the links between corporate and securities law and human rights.
August 2009 | John F. Sherman III; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This resource summarizes key considerations for companies when creating an Integrated Conflict Management system to manage disputes with external stakeholders.
June 2009 | Mary B. Anderson and Luc Zandvliet; Greenleaf Publishing
This go-to guidance book on corporate-community relations in the extractive sector is based on nearly 10 years of field experience at 40 operational sites around the world.
November 2008 | Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, International Business Leaders Forum, and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
This comprehensive, baseline resource for businesses lays out what human rights are and how businesses can impact them.
April 2008 | John G. Ruggie; UN Human Rights Council
This report was submitted by John Ruggie to the UN Human Rights Council in 2008 and establishes the three-pillar framework for the Guiding Principles: protect, respect, remedy. It is not the Guiding Principles but helps to explain the rationale for them.
January 2008 | Caroline Rees, David Vermijs; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This report analyzes the existing grievance mechanisms from companies, industry groups, multistakeholder initiatives, national human rights institutions, national labor dispute systems, development banks and international institutions.
May 2007 | International Finance Corporation
This foundational guidance from the International Finance Corporation offers a comprehensive overview of how companies should engage with stakeholders, particularly potentially affected people.