This discussion paper examines the role of policy in enabling the respect of human rights from corporates and investors. 

The paper highlights two of the main issues currently facing society and policymakers; specifically, the climate crisis and the risks posed by growing economic inequalities. As a response to these crises, it calls for the consideration of social factors in measures aimed at supporting the economic transition. In line with the PRI’s 2021-2024 strategy, it makes the case for the adoption of policies and regulations that incentivise companies and capital markets actors to implement the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises.

It then identifies a set of policies that policymakers can utilise. These include:

  • corporate ESG disclosure regulations;
  • corporate due diligence regulations;
  • investor ESG regulations (including for ESG service providers);
  • stewardship frameworks and regulations; 
  • sustainable taxonomies;
  • national sustainable finance strategies;
  • national Action Plans on Business and Human Rights.

The paper also identifies further areas for future research and engagement with policymakers, including:

  • how real economy policies can help offset the potential adverse effects of the economic transition on workers and communities;
  • the role of governance issues such as responsible political engagement and tax in supporting the protection of human rights; and
  • the evolving role of multilateral financial institutions and the international financial architecture in supporting developing and emerging economies to fund their net-zero commitments while providing support for the most vulnerable parts of society.

Download the discussion paper below.