Working Group on business and human rights


Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises

About the mandate

The Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (also referred to as the Working Group on Business and Human Rights) was established by the Human Rights Council in 2011 by resolution 17/4. The Council renewed the Working Group’s mandate in 2014 (resolution 26/22), 2017 (resolution 35/7) and 2020 (resolution 44/15).

As set out in resolution 17/4, the Working Group has a mandate promote, disseminate and implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The group is also mandated to exchange and promote good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the Guiding Principles, and to assess and make recommendations thereon.

Learn more about the mandate and the working methods of the group.

About the members

Photo of the Members of the Working  Group ©OHCHR

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation. Collectively, these experts bring diverse skills and experience on the advancement of business respect for human rights across a wide range of countries, issues, and sectors. Access biographies of the members of the Working Group.

Key documents

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework

This document details the principles developed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The Special Representative annexed the Guiding Principles to his final report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/17/31), which also includes an introduction to the Guiding Principles and an overview of the process that led to their development. The Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles in its resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011.

PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | русский | Español

Frequently Asked Questions on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

This publication explains the background and the contents of the UNGPs and how they relate to the broader human rights system and other frameworks. It aims to help both practitioners and newcomers to navigate and understand the Guiding Principles.

PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español

The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: An Interpretive Guide

This guide focuses on the Guiding Principles that address the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. It was developed in full collaboration with the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

PDF: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español

Latest thematic reports

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at 10: taking stock of the first decade

Ten years after the introduction of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework, this report 2021 takes a look at progress and remaining hurdles.

View report page | View document A/HRC/47/39

Business, human rights and conflict-affected regions: towards heightened action

This report to the UN General Assembly in October 2020 outlines practical measures to prevent and address business-related human rights abuse in conflict and post-conflict contexts, with a focus on heightened human rights due diligence and access to remedy.

View report page | View document A/75/212 | View executive summary of the report

Connecting the business and human rights and anti-corruption agendas

In this 2020 report to the Human Rights Council, the Working Group examines how the business and human rights agenda—articulated in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—and anti-corruption efforts, are interconnected.

View report page | View document A/HRC/44/43

Policy coherence in government action to protect against business-related human rights abuses

This 2019 report to the General Assembly looks at practical ways to enhance government’s capacity, ability and action to protect against abuses, drawing on lessons learned from national action plans and other relevant policy frameworks.

View report page | View document A/74/198

Latest country reports

Mission to Honduras (19 to 28 August 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/43/Add.2

Mission to Georgia (3 to 12 April 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/43/Add.1

Forum on Business and Human Rights

Photo of meeting of the Forum on  Business and Human rights ©OHCHR The UN Forum established by the Human Rights Council in 2011 has become the world's largest global gathering on business and human rights. The three-day conference is held annually in Geneva, normally in November. It is guided and chaired by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights, as per Human Rights Council resolutions 17/4 and 35/7.

The Forum serves as a key global platform for stakeholders to ”discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights.” It is open to States, business enterprises and associations, civil society organisations, trade unions, victims, academics, students, the media and any other relevant stakeholder.

Please see the webpage of the Forum for further information.


Working Group on business and human rights
Recent thematic reports
Issues in focus
Contact information

Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Palais des Nations, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix. 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 9159
E-mail: wg-business@ohchr.org

Others Involved