“The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is an indispensable tool that companies have been waiting for. This tool will mark a major breakthrough in company relations with individuals and communities whose lives they impact.”
– John Ruggie, author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on human rights issues in line with their responsibility to respect human rights. This responsibility is set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which constitute the authoritative global standard in this field. The UNGP Reporting Framework was launched in February 2015.
The Reporting Framework provides a concise set of questions to which any company should strive to have answers in order to know and show that it is meeting its responsibility to respect human rights in practice. It offers companies clear and straightforward guidance on how to answer these questions with relevant and meaningful information about their human rights policies, processes and performance.
The Reporting Framework has been developed through the Human Rights Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative (RAFI). RAFI is co-facilitated by Shift and Mazars through an open, global, consultative process involving representatives from over 200 companies, investor groups, civil society organizations, governments, assurance providers, lawyers and other expert organizations from all regions of the world. Consultations took place in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Jakarta, London, Manila, Medellin, New York and Yangon.
Separate work is now underway through RAFI on the issue of assurance. Practitioner consultations were held in June 2015, of which summary reports are publicly available. In light of these discussions, a first draft of practitioner guidance for assurance providers was prepared for multi-stakeholder consultation in autumn 2015. This guidance should help both companies’ internal auditors as well as their external assurance providers assess the effectiveness of companies’ human rights-related policies and processes, and enable assurance providers to present more meaningful public opinions on companies’ human rights reporting than is often the case today. Updates on the practitioner guidance for assurance providers can be found on the RAFI project page hosted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
The Human Rights Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative was led by Shift, the leading centre of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles, and international accountancy firm Mazars. The Reporting and Assurance Frameworks Initiative was overseen by an Eminent Persons Group. Further information about the project team and the Eminent Persons Group can be viewed here. RAFI is funded by grants from the governments of Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The project team from Shift and Mazars would like to express their gratitude to all the individuals who participated in consultations that were held across the world and who provided comments on the ideas, concepts and drafts that culminated in the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework.
Shift is the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Shift’s global team facilitates dialogue, builds capacity and develops new approaches with companies, government, civil society organizations and international institutions to bring about a world in which business gets done with respect for people’s fundamental welfare and dignity. Shift is a non-profit, mission-driven organization.
Shift was established following the 2011 unanimous endorsement of the Guiding Principles by the UN Human Rights Council, which marked the successful conclusion of the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. Shift’s founders were part of Professor Ruggie’s core advisory team that helped develop the Guiding Principles. Professor Ruggie is the Chair of Shift’s Board of Trustees.
In 2016, Shift launched a dedicated Reporting Program, designed to engage companies, governments, investors and others about how reporting can be a driver of improved business respect for human rights. See more about that programme by clicking the link below.
Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organisation specialising in audit, advisory, accounting and tax services.
As a global organisation, we believe it is both our privilege and responsibility to help create a better world by contributing to the business community and wider society through our reach and areas of expertise.
Through Mazars’ Business. For Good™ initiative, we encourage business leaders to ‘think and act long-term’ in order to enhance business performance and pursue pro t responsibly for the bene t of companies, their stakeholders and wider society. The initiative not only underpins our purpose but it also brings together a number of services that help organisations respond to emerging sustainability issues in the global marketplace including Anti-Corruption and Whistleblowing, Culture and Human Rights.