There is a global expectation today that all companies respect human rights.

The UN Guiding Principles constitute the authoritative international reference point for how states should protect, and how companies should respect human rights. They identify the protection of human rights as the duty of the state, recognise that companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, and contain a third component on access to remedy for victims, which is applicable to both states and companies.

Since their inception in 2011, major players including the OECD, IFC and EU have incorporated the UN Guiding Principles into frameworks and guidance. Nearly four years after their adoption, companies have widely taken up the UN Guiding Principles as a reference point when implementing human rights considerations into business processes.

The launch of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework in February 2015 has enhanced the credibility and usefulness of the UN Guiding Principles.

As of June 2015, 81 investors with more than US$ 4 trillion in assets under management, publicly welcomed the framework, emphasising that increased and more consistent reporting enables them to better judge how well companies understand and manage their human rights impacts.

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Human rights and the extractive industry: why engage, who to engage, how to engage