By directly addressing existing international standards, political guidelines, and regulations, the adoption of the “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” formulated by Prof. John Ruggie, is the first time that a framework for business and human rights has been successfully tabled. This move established the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP) as the global standard of practice.
The Ruggie Framework identifies the protection of human rights as the primary duty of the state; corporations and business enterprises, however, have a responsibility to respect human rights and should avoid (also preventatively) the infringement of human rights. In
addition to the state duty to protect and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, the Ruggie Framework also contains a third component on access to remedy for victims.
Nearly two years after their adoption, the UNGP have been widely taken up by companies as the reference point when implementing human rights considerations into business processes. In the framework of the collaborative project on Business and Human Rights,
CSR Europe and econsense have been supporting their member companies in understanding the baseline expectations of the UNGP.