First Comprehensive Guidance for Companies on Human Rights Reporting

The first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on human rights issues in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights has been launched with the support of Mazars & Shift.

The guidance, the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, is the culmination of 18 months of research and consultation led by the leading centre of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Shift, and Mazars.

In September 20The Reporting Framework, organised in a series of ‘smart’ questions, enables companies to begin reporting on their human rights performance, regardless of size or how far they have progressed in implementing their responsibility to respect human rights. It is also designed to incentivise them to improve over time.

Richard Karmel, Head of Human Rights at Mazars explains, “The Reporting Framework will act further as a guide to companies on how they can modify their behaviours and enhance their controls to reduce the potential for negative human rights impacts. The Reporting Framework places the focus of reporting on a company’s salient human rights issues: the human rights that are most severe, based on what the company does, where it works and with whom it works.”

Although the Framework is relevant and accessible for all companies, recent growth in reporting requirements on human rights focus mostly on large and listed companies.

In October 2014, the European Union adopted a directive requiring around 6,000 companies to disclose non-financial information, including human rights performance, by 2017. However, as Karmel concludes, “If 2017 reporting is to be meaningful, new approaches are needed for behavioural change – now. We see the Reporting Framework as a catalyst for this change.”

For more information on the Reporting Framework, visit www.UNGPreporting.org.

On the initiative of the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business,  UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were published in Polish in September 2015.

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