Human Rights

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) establishing a global standard on the roles of businesses and governments in ensuring companies respect human rights. We advocate for companies within our membership and beyond to embed the UNGPs into their operations. We also position respect for human rights as a crucial vehicle through which business can help achieve the broader vision of peaceful and inclusive societies embraced by the Sustainable Development Goals.

The challenge

Companies continue to face barriers to operationalizing respect for human rights across their businesses. Some examples include fostering internal awareness and leadership within their organizations to translating commitment into policies and practice in complex and dynamic global supply chains. This is set against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving regulatory environment, coupled with enhanced expectations and scrutiny from stakeholders.

The business case

Understanding the human rights impacts on their business helps companies to better manage and mitigate reputational risks and minimize operational costs. Demonstrating corporate commitment to respecting human rights also leads to enhanced engagement with a variety of stakeholders and provides significant opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.

The solution

Our human rights work aims at operationalizing the UNGPs and increasing the number of companies knowing and showing that they respect human rights, by:

  • Inspire, inform and advocate business action
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning to capture, highlight and disseminate solutions
  • Connect companies and promote partnerships
  • Represent the voice of leading business in global platforms and inter-governmental processes.

News and Insights

Next Event

WBCSD Council Meeting 2018

22 - 25 October, 2018,

More Events

United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights

26 - 28 November, 2018
, Geneva, Switzerland


3 - 14 December, 2018
, Katowice, Poland

Liaison Delegate Meeting 2019

1 - 4 April, 2019
, Montreux, Switzerland

WBCSD Council Meeting 2019

14 - 17 October, 2019
, Lisbon, Portugal
See more



Kitrhona Cerri

Director, Social Impact

Davide Fiedler

Manager, Social Impact