European Commission publishes human rights guidance for 3 business sectors

Author: European Commission
Categories: General measures of implementation and UK 1st periodic review

14th June 2013

The European Commission has published practical human rights guidance for enterprises in three business sectors: employment and recruitment agencies, ICT companies, and oil and gas companies.

The guides are consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Human rights are an increasingly important aspect of corporate social responsibility.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights define what companies and governments should do to avoid and address possible negative human rights impacts by business. The EU encourages and contributes to implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. Many EU Member States are developing national plans on business and human rights.

UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children have introduced the Children's Rights and Business Principles, a call on business to step up their efforts to respect and support children's rights in the workplace, marketplace and community.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted a General Comment on the impact of the business sector on children's rights earlier this year on 1st February 2013.

The Committee recognises that the business sector's impact on children's rights has grown in past decades because of factors such as the globalised nature of economies and of business operations and the ongoing trends of decentralisation, and outsourcing and privatizing of State functions that affect the enjoyment of human rights.