Skip to main content

About the mandate

Working Group on Business and Human Rights

As set out in resolution 17/4, the Working Group has a mandate to:

  • Promote the effective and comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework;
  • Identify, exchange and promote good practices and lessons learned on the implementation of the Guiding Principles and to assess and make recommendations thereon and, in that context, to seek and receive information from all relevant sources, including Governments, transnational corporations and other business enterprises, national human rights institutions, civil society and rights-holders;
  • Provide support for efforts to promote capacity-building and the use of the Guiding Principles, as well as, upon request, to provide advice and recommendations regarding the development of domestic legislation and policies relating to business and human rights;
  • Conduct country visits and to respond promptly to invitations from States;
  • Continue to explore options and make recommendations at the national, regional and international levels for enhancing access to effective remedies available to those whose human rights are affected by corporate activities, including those in conflict areas;
  • Integrate a gender perspective throughout the work of the mandate and to give special attention to persons living in vulnerable situations, in particular children;
  • Work in close cooperation and coordination with other relevant special procedures of the Human Rights Council, relevant United Nations and other international bodies, the treaty bodies and regional human rights organizations;
  • Develop a regular dialogue and discuss possible areas of cooperation with Governments and all relevant actors, including relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, funds and programmes, in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Global Compact, the International Labour Organization, the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Organization for Migration, as well as transnational corporations and other business enterprises, national human rights institutions, representatives of indigenous peoples, civil society organizations and other regional and subregional international organizations;
  • Guide the work of the Forum on Business and Human Rights; and to
  • Report annually to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

Moreover, in its resolution 35/7, the Council requested the Working Group to give due consideration to the implementation of the Guiding Principles in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Functioning and working methods

At its 10th session, the Working Group adopted revised working methods. These are annexed to the outcome document of the tenth session (A/HRC/WG.12/10/1).

Resolutions and decisions on business and human rights
 

Body, SessionYearTitleSymbol number and link to document
HRC 53rd session2023Business and human rightsA/HRC/RES/53/3
HRC 44th session2020Business and human rights: the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and improving accountability and access to remedyA/HRC/RES/44/15
HRC 38th session2018Business and human rights: improving accountability and access to remedyA/HRC/RES/38/13
HRC 35th session2017Business and human rights: mandate of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprisesA/HRC/RES/35/7
HRC 32nd session2016Business and human rights: improving accountability and access to remedyA/HRC/RES/32/10
HRC 26th session2014Human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprisesA/HRC/RES/26/22
HRC 26th session2014Elaboration of an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rightsA/HRC/RES/26/9
HRC 21st session2012Contribution 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 RightsA/HRC/RES/21/5
HRC 17th session2011Human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprisesA/HRC/RES/17/4
HRC 8th session2008Mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprisesA/HRC/RES/8/7
HRC 5th session2007Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights CouncilA/HRC/RES/5/1
CHR 61st session2005Human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprisesE/CN.4/RES/2005/69
CHR 60th session2004Responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rightsE/CN.4/DEC/2004/116
SUBCOM 55th session2003Responsibilities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rightsE/CN.4/Sub.2/RES/2003/16
SC 4732nd meeting2003Resolution 1472 (2003)S/RES/1472 (2003)
SC 4694th meeting2003Resolution 1459 (2003)S/RES/1459 (2003)
SC 4654th meeting2002Resolution 1446 (2002)S/RES/1446 (2002)