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In its stocktaking exercise of the implementation of the UNGPs over the first decade since their adoption, the Working Group recognized that ‘financial actors have an unparalleled ability to influence companies and scale up on the implementation of the Guiding Principles1. With ‘financial actors’ understood here to include public DFIs as well as private sector finance institutions that often co-finance with other commercial banks and investors, these actors are central to pushing forward the realization of the UNGPs 10+ Roadmap for the next decade of business and human rights.
Considering the sustained attention that multilateral DFIs have received over the years, this report will primarily focus instead on national, sub-regional and regional DFIs, the nature of their financing of both public and private sector projects, as well as the breadth and depth of their impacts on human rights and the natural environment. In so doing, the report aims to provide practical guidance to States, DFIs, and other relevant actors on how to strengthen protection and respect for human rights through DFI financing, in line with the UNGPs.
The report will examine the responsibility of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to respect human rights in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
The report will cover all three pillars of the UNGPs in the context of Development Finance Institutions and Human Rights: the duty of States to protect against human rights abuses by businesses, including when formally (or informally) linked to Institutions that provide support and services to businesses, in line with Guiding Principles 4 and 10; the responsibility of DFIs to ensure that their clients and the companies they invest in, as well as other business partners and entities in the value chain, respect human rights; and the role of DFIs in providing access to remedy to individuals and communities affected by DFI-funded projects that result in adverse human rights impacts.
This report will build on work previously undertaken by the Working Group and other organisations, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on DFIs2, as well as on relevant Working Group’s previous reports addressing issues such as the State as an economic actor3, the financial sector and human rights4, human rights due diligence5, policy coherence, and access to remedy.6
The Working Group seeks the input of all stakeholders (including international organisations, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, research centres, academia, lawyers, law firms, DFIs, businesses, industry associations, trade unions, human rights defenders, and indigenous peoples) to some questions.
In order to obtain a broad representation of views to inform the thematic report, the Working Group is seeking written contributions from all relevant actors through responses to a questionnaire.
1 A/HRC/47/39, ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at 10: taking stock of the first decade’, Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, pp.15-16.