Working Group on business and human rights


Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises

About the mandate

The Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (also referred to as the Working Group on Business and Human Rights) was established by the Human Rights Council in 2011 by resolution 17/4. The Council renewed the Working Group’s mandate in 2014 (resolution 26/22), 2017 (resolution 35/7) and 2020 (resolution 44/15).

As set out in resolution 17/4, the Working Group has a mandate promote, disseminate and implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The group is also mandated to exchange and promote good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the Guiding Principles, and to assess and make recommendations thereon.

Learn more about the mandate and the working methods of the group.

About the members

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation. Collectively, these experts bring diverse skills and experience on the advancement of business respect for human rights across a wide range of countries, issues, and sectors. Access biographies of the members of the Working Group.

Key documents

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework

This document details the principles developed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The Special Representative annexed the Guiding Principles to his final report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/17/31), which also includes an introduction to the Guiding Principles and an overview of the process that led to their development. The Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles in its resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011.

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Frequently Asked Questions on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

This publication explains the background and the contents of the UNGPs and how they relate to the broader human rights system and other frameworks. It aims to help both practitioners and newcomers to navigate and understand the Guiding Principles.

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The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: An Interpretive Guide

This guide focuses on the Guiding Principles that address the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. It was developed in full collaboration with the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español

Latest thematic reports

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at 10: taking stock of the first decade

Ten years after the introduction of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework, this report 2021 takes a look at progress and remaining hurdles.

View report page | View document A/HRC/47/39

Business, human rights and conflict-affected regions: towards heightened action

This report to the UN General Assembly in October 2020 outlines practical measures to prevent and address business-related human rights abuse in conflict and post-conflict contexts, with a focus on heightened human rights due diligence and access to remedy.

View report page | View document A/75/212 | View executive summary of the report

Connecting the business and human rights and anti-corruption agendas

In this 2020 report to the Human Rights Council, the Working Group examines how the business and human rights agenda—articulated in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—and anti-corruption efforts, are interconnected.

View report page | View document A/HRC/44/43

Policy coherence in government action to protect against business-related human rights abuses

This 2019 report to the General Assembly looks at practical ways to enhance government’s capacity, ability and action to protect against abuses, drawing on lessons learned from national action plans and other relevant policy frameworks.

View report page | View document A/74/198

Latest country reports

Mission to Honduras (19 to 28 August 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/43/Add.2

Mission to Georgia (3 to 12 April 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/43/Add.1

Forum on Business and Human Rights

Photo of meeting of the Forum on  Business and Human rights ©OHCHR The UN Forum established by the Human Rights Council in 2011 has become the world's largest global gathering on business and human rights. The three-day conference is held annually in Geneva, normally in November. It is guided and chaired by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, as per Human Rights Council resolutions 17/4 and 35/7.

The Forum serves as a key global platform for stakeholders to ”discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights.” It is open to States, business enterprises and associations, civil society organisations, trade unions, victims, academics, students, the media and any other relevant stakeholder.

Please see the webpage of the Forum for further information.

More press releases and statements...

Archived news
(over 3 years old)

Highlights

UN Working Group launches UNGPs 10+ Roadmap for the next decade of business and human rights and executive summary of the Roadmap (29 November, 2021)

Call for inputs

Call for inputs: for the Working Group's report on COVID-19 lessons learnt and moving forward to the 50th session of the Human Rights Council
Deadline: 24 February 2022

Activities

Statement of Mr Surya Deva, member of the Working Group on business and human rights, at the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights of the Senate of Canada concerning Bill S-211, An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff

Remarks of Ms. Anita Ramasastry, Member, UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises "Implementing the 3 pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights EU Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence in Global Value Chains", hosted by the RBC Working Group of the European Parliament, 2 March 2022

Call for inputs: Ensuring business respect for human rights in the political and regulatory sphere and preventing "corporate capture"

UN Guiding Principles at 10 (June 16 2021): video contributions from UN, government leaders and other stakeholders

The Working Group assesses the first decade of UNGPs implementation (June 2021)

Information note: the UNGPs and the roadmap for responsible recovery in times of crisis

Contribution to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session against corruption (held on 2 to 4 June 2021)

View more activities

Members

Ms. Elżbieta Karska
(Chair from 1 January 2022)
(Poland), since 2018

Mr. Githu Muigai
(Vice-chair from 1 January 2022)
(Kenya), since 2018

Mr. Surya Deva
(India), since 2016

Ms. Fernanda Hopenhaym (Mexico/Uruguay), since 2021

Ms. Anita Ramasastry
(USA), since 2016

Former Members

Mr. Dante Pesce
(Chile), 2015-2021

Mr. Michael Addo
(Ghana), 2011-2018

Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga
(Russian Federation), 2011-2018

Ms. Margaret Jungk
(USA), 2011-2016

Ms. Alexandra Guaqueta
(Colombia), 2011-2015

Mr. Puvan Selvanathan
(Malaysia), 2011-2015



Working Group on business and human rights
Recent thematic reports
Issues in focus
Contact information

Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Palais des Nations, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix. 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 9159
E-mail: ohchr-wg-business@un.org

Others Involved