United Nations Reports on Business and Human Rights

This section includes reports on business and human rights developed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Secretary-General.

For reports by the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, please visit the Working Group's report webpage. For reports by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, please visit the SRSG’s report webpage.

Reports of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Year / Body / Session

Title

Symbol number

Summary

2020
HRC 44th session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse through non-State-based grievance mechanisms

A/HRC/44/32

Pursuant to the request by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 38/13, this report sets out recommended action to improve accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses through non-State-based grievance mechanisms. The report explains the scope and methodology of the work, makes comments as to the potential uses of the report and makes general observations about the role of non-State-based grievance mechanisms in achieving accountability and access to remedy. It includes an annex containing a set of recommended policy objectives for States and relevant non-State actors, supported by a series of elements intended to demonstrate the different ways in which those objectives may be met in practice. The report, annex, and separate addendum comprise the outcome of the third phase of OHCHR's Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP III).

2020
HRC 44th session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse through non-State-based grievance mechanisms: explanatory notes

A/HRC/44/32/Add.1 (English only)

This addendum is a companion document to the ARP III report and provides background, definitions, examples and contextual information with respect to the policy objectives and supporting elements found in the annex to that report.

2018
HRC 38th session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse through State-based non-judicial mechanisms

A/HRC/38/20

Pursuant to the request by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 32/10, this report sets out recommended action to improve accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses through State-based non-judicial mechanisms. In the report, the High Commissioner explains the scope of the work involved and the approach taken by OHCHR, and makes general observations about the role of State-based non-judicial mechanisms in achieving accountability and access to remedy in business and human rights cases. The report includes an annex containing a set of recommended “policy objectives” for States, supported by a series of elements intended to demonstrate the different ways that States can work towards meeting those objectives. The report, annex, and separate addendum comprise the outcome of the second phase of OHCHR's Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP II).

2018
HRC 38th session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse through State-based non-judicial mechanisms: explanatory notes to final report

A/HRC/38/20/Add.1 (English only)

This addendum is a companion document to the ARP II report and explains key concepts and the main findings emerging from ARP II in further detail. Additionally, this document includes a model terms of reference that can be used by States to review the effectiveness of their relevant non-judicial mechanisms.

2018
HRC 38th session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse: The relevance of human rights due diligence to determinations of corporate liability

A/HRC/38/20/Add.2 (English only)

This report provides analysis and clarification of the relationship between human rights due diligence and determinations of corporate liability. It is informed by discussions held during a 2017 consultation convened pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 32/10 and forms part of OHCHR's Accountability and Remedy Project.

2016
HRC 32nd session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse

A/HRC/32/19

Pursuant to the request by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 26/22, this report sets out guidance to improve accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses through judicial mechanisms. The main report provides an introduction to the guidance, including an explanation of its scope, potential usage and important cross-cutting contextual issues. The guidance itself is provided in an annex, which takes the form of “policy objectives” for domestic legal responses, supported by a series of elements intended to demonstrate the different ways in which States can work towards meeting those objectives in practice. The report, annex, and separate addendum comprise the outcome of the first phase of OHCHR's Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP I).

2016
HRC 32nd session

Improving accountability and access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuse: explanatory notes for guidance

A/HRC/32/19/Add.1

This addendum is a companion document to the ARP I report and explains key legal concepts and the main findings emerging from ARP I in further detail. Additionally, this document includes a model terms of reference that can be used by States to review the effectiveness of domestic legal systems.

2015
HRC 29th session

Progress report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on legal options and practical measures to improve access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses

A/HRC/29/39

Pursuant to the request by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 26/22, this report presents information on the Accountability and Remedy Project on corporate accountability and access to judicial remedy in cases of business involvement in severe human rights abuses. It outlines the main work streams of the project, its two complementary research processes to gather data and input, and highlights initial findings and key areas for further investigation that are emerging from preliminary research and studies undertaken for two of the six work streams.

2010
HRC 14th session

Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on her Office’s consultation on operationalizing the framework for business and human rights

A/HRC/14/29
View report page

Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 8/7, this report contains a summary of a two-day consultation that discussed ways and means to operationalize the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework on business and human rights put forward by the Special Representative.

2010
HRC 14th session

Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on her Office’s consultation on operationalizing the framework for business and human rights
Addendum: Summary of proceedings of side events to the consultation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on operationalizing the framework for business and human rights

A/HRC/14/29/Add.1
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This addendum provides summaries of the proceedings of several side events held in parallel to the consultation featured in A/HRC/14/29.

HRC 4th session

Report on the sectoral consultation entitled “Human rights and the financial sector”

A/HRC/4/99

Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/69, this report summarizes the presentations and discussions from a consultation convened with senior executives and experts on human rights and the financial sector. The consultation considered existing initiatives and standards relevant to the financial sector, and examined ways to strengthen protection of human rights in the activities and decision-making of financial institutions.

2005
CHR 62nd session

Report on the sectoral consultation entitled “Human rights and the extractive industry”

E/CN.4/2006/92

Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/69, this report summarizes the presentations and discussions from a consultation convened with senior executives and experts on human rights and the extractive industry. The consultation considered existing initiatives and standards relevant to the extractive sector, sought to clarify human rights responsibilities of business, and examined ways to strengthen protection of human rights in the extractive sector.

2005
CHR 61st session

Report on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights

E/CN.4/2005/91

Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/116, this report considers the scope and legal status of existing initiatives and standards on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights as well as outstanding issues that require further consideration by the Commission. The report reviews existing initiatives and standards on corporate social responsibility from a human rights perspective, noting that there are gaps in understanding the nature and scope of the human rights responsibilities of business.


Reports of the Secretary-General


Year / Body / Session

Title

Symbol number

Summary

2014
HRC 26th session

Challenges, strategies and developments with regard to the implementation of the resolution 21/5 by the United Nations system, including programmes, funds and agencies

A/HRC/26/20
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Pursuant to resolution 21/5, this report identifies developments, progress and challenges in advancing the business and human rights agenda within the United Nations system.

2014
HRC 26th session

Challenges, strategies and developments with regard to the implementation of the resolution 21/5 by the United Nations system, including programmes, funds and agencies
Addendum 1: Study on the feasibility of a global fund to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

A/HRC/26/20/Add.1 (English only)
View report page

This addendum presents the conclusions from a study on the feasibility of a global fund to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to implement the Guiding Principles.

2012
HRC 21st session

Contribution of the United Nations system as a whole to the advancement of the business and human rights agenda and the dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

A/HRC/21/21

This report, prepared pursuant to a request in Human Rights Council resolution 17/4, gives an overview of ongoing activities by entities and mechanisms in the United Nations system relevant to business and human rights. It identifies opportunities and provides recommendations for advancing the business and human rights agenda within the United Nations. It also makes recommendations for aligning the internal policies and practices of the United Nations with the Guiding Principles in order to manage risks and promote respect for human rights through its business relationships.

2012
HRC 21st session

Contribution of the United Nations system as a whole to the advancement of the business and human rights agenda and the dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Corrigendum

A/HRC/21/21/Corr.1

This corrigendum makes a correction to paragraph 76 in A/HRC/21/21.