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Government Engagement

We provide expertise and and facilitate dialogue processes for governments to support more effective policy and regulation on business and human rights.

Government Engagement


Read our statement: 
Fulfilling the State Duty to Protect: A Statement on the Role of Mandatory Measures in a “Smart Mix”


We work with individual governments to help them develop more effective policy and regulation on business respect for human rights. This work ranges across a variety of policy and regulatory areas and government departments, including individual ministries, export credit agencies and development finance institutions, independent regulators and national human rights institutions. As facilitators, we help governments engage in dialogue with companies, trade unions and civil society organizations on business and human rights topics. As advocates and experts on the Guiding Principles, we advise governments on policy and regulatory development and implementation. 

Caroline Rees speaks at the Expert Conference on Sustainable Supply Chains, in Berlin. Photo courtesy of GIZ/Thomas Ecke

“Shift has given us unique, expert insight and tools that have enabled us to pragmatically work toward our goal of effectively implementing the UN Guiding Principles.” - Kamil Zabielski, Senior Social and Human Rights Specialist, Norwegian Export Credit Agency

As part of this program, we have worked with governmental bodies from countries including:

  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

See all activities and content related to this program

How States Can Actively Foster Business Respect for Human Rights

February 2019

An interview with Rachel Davis, Co-founder and Managing Director at Shift. As a senior legal advisor to former UN Special Representative John Ruggie during his mandate, Shift’s Rachel Davis played a key role in the drafting process of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Seven years into the implementation of the UNGPs, she reflects on the relevance of mandatory measures in the State duty to protect and the growing debate around comprehensive mandatory human rights due diligence legislation.

Making Economic Globalization Work for All: Achieving Socially Sustainable Supply Chains

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.

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.

Supporting Financial Institutions to Implement the Guiding Principles

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.

Business and Human Rights in New Zealand

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.

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