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Special Topics

From updates on policies and regulations to human rights primers to guidance for lawyers, this section features resources on special topics related to business and human rights.

Special Topics



Human Rights Reporting in France

September 2018

For 3 years, Shift’s Reporting Program has mapped and analyzed the human rights disclosure of over 130 companies around the world. In this special report, we are bringing the spotlight to France, where we have analyzed and dissected the reporting of the top 20 companies listed on the CAC 40 index (by market cap). The purpose of this two-part report is to evaluate the extent to which the new French legislation brings companies closer to the reporting expectations that were set by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Exploring Respect for Human Rights as a Driver for Business Action on Sustainable Development

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.

Open Letter on Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals

September 2017

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.

Respect for Human Rights: Creating a Holistic Framework for Business Contributions to the SDGs

May 2017

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.

Human Rights Reporting: Are Companies Telling Investors What They Need to Know?

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.

Business, Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals: Forging a Coherent Vision and Strategy

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.

Making Globalization Work for All: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Through Business Respect for Human Rights

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.

What Do the UN Sustainable Development Goals Have to Do With Corporate Respect for Human Rights?

September 2016

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.

Relationship Between the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Guiding Principles

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.

Shift's Reporting Program

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.

What Do Company Directors Need to Know About Human Rights?

May 2016

New guidance published by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission tells company boards what they need to know about human rights.

Business and Human Rights: A Five-Step Guide for Company Boards

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.

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Guiding Principles

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.

Corporate Contradictions

September 2015

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

Addressing Sector-Wide Risks Through Negotiated Covenants in the Netherlands

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.

Treaties and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: The Way Forward

July 2014

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.

Paradigm Shift: It's Time to Speak about the Purpose of the Corporation

March 2014 | Filip Gregor

A critical look at the role of companies in society, and the concept of shareholder value.

Tax Abuse as a Business and Human Rights Issue

October 2013

Can corporate avoidance of taxes also lead to human rights harms?

The Shift From Principles to Practice

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.