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When talking about companies' respect for human rights, one of the first things to look for is where this commitment is stated. A company should have a human rights policy. I can already hear you saying: one more policy! And indeed, the point is not to have one more document and in my opinion, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Depending on the type and size of the company, there may already be policies that could inform a human rights policy. The human rights policy though should be a trademark of the company.


Where do you stand in terms of the footprints you want to leave on this planet? Your audience, be it investors, consumers, employees, suppliers or the communities where you operate, should understand by reading this simple document what your company commits to.  


I am happy to take a look at the policies you already have in place as a company and hear what brought you to this point and what you want to achieve. Should you want to continue in the human rights due diligence path, you are welcome to have a look at other services I offer, such as Human Rights Impact Assessments, Stakeholders Engagement and Research.

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Having a policy commitment to respect human rights is where it all starts for companies, according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Despite being soft law, it paved the way to several hard laws, such as the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act, the 2017 French Duty of Vigilance Law, and the 2016 EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive. 

The UNGPs is a set of 31 principles defining the role of the State and business in respect to human rights, and what access to remedies for victims of human rights abuses by companies should be provided with. If you want to know more about the three pillars of the UNGPs, you are welcome to check out this accurate yet simple and short video.

Currently, the UNGPs is where responsible businesses want to go, so not being there yet is just normal. The commitment, backed by actions, is what makes the difference.