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Business & Human Rights Resource Centre Launches Portals on UN Guiding Principles and UN Working Group

Published 02-26-13

Submitted by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Today the non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched two new online portals providing information in seven languages. This press release is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish – click here.

Greg Regaignon, Research Director of the Resource Centre, said: “The endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 confirmed that all companies have an internationally-recognised responsibility to respect human rights. These portals we are launching today provide practical materials to help all companies, governments and members of civil society understand the Guiding Principles and how to implement them. Never again should any company be allowed to plead ignorance about human rights.”

Christopher Avery, Resource Centre Director, noted: “For the first time all materials about the Guiding Principles and Working Group are accessible in one place. And for the first time many key materials are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Until today most materials about these UN initiatives were available only in English – making them inaccessible to businesspeople and civil society in much of the world. That was simply unacceptable – we decided to do something about it. We encouraged authors to translate their materials and we have translated many of the documents ourselves.”

The “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Portal” features:

  • introductory information
  • guidance materials to help companies and governments implement the Principles
  • examples of implementation; examples of failure to implement
  • examples of how NGOs are using the Principles
  • commentaries on the Principles reflecting diverse viewpoints
  • lawsuits against companies referring to the Principles
  • events related to the Principles

The “UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights Portal” provides:

  • links to the Working Group’s reports, statements, initiatives and country visits
  • submissions and interventions made to the Working Group
  • commentaries on the Working Group from all perspectives
  • links to all materials about the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Each portal has dedicated landing pages in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. All information on both portals is accessible free of charge. These portals link to, complement and add to the pages on the Guiding Principles and Working Group on the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

We designed these portals to make it easier for stakeholders from all sectors to use the Guiding Principles and to engage with the Working Group. We invite users to send us comments and feedback on the portals and the materials they feature, and to send us further materials for each portal. We encourage all those preparing materials about the Guiding Principles or Working Group to consider translating them (in full or in summary) into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

These two new portals and the translations were made possible by grants from the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, supported by GIZ.

These portals and the entire Resource Centre website were engineered by Jamkit, specialists in web solutions for the not-for-profit sector. Jamkit is part of the Blue Fountain Systems group of companies.

About Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (www.business-humanrights.org) tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of 5100 companies in over 180 countries. Our website is updated hourly and provides guidance tools to assist all those working in this field.

Our researchers are based in Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, UK, Ukraine and USA – soon also Brazil.

Mary Robinson chairs our 70-member International Advisory Network. Our 23 Academic Partners include leading academic institutions in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

When civil society raises concerns about company conduct, we seek a response from the company. We publicise the allegations and company’s response (or non-response) on our site and in our Weekly Update. This process encourages companies to address concerns and has led to positive change on the ground.

The two new portals join our other portals:

The Resource Centre’s aim is to encourage companies to respect human rights, avoid harm to people, and maximise their positive contribution.

We do not accept funding from companies or company foundations, in order to maintain our independence and to prevent any possible perception of a conflict of interest. Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work and provide these resources for free.

For further details, see the "About us" section of our website. Sign up for free Weekly Updates on business & human rights here. And follow us on Twitter @BHRRC.

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Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The Resource Centre is an independent non-profit that promotes greater awareness and informed debate about human rights issues relating to business. Our website is updated hourly with news and reports about companies’ social and environmental impacts worldwide, including alleged abuses, positive steps, and company responses to concerns raised about their conduct. The site has sections on over 4000 companies. It also includes special resources such as all materials issued by the UN Special Representative on business & human rights; a list of companies with human rights policies; profiles of lawsuits against companies. Mary Robinson is Chair of our International Advisory Network. Visit the website for further details and to sign up for free Weekly Updates. See website for contact details of our New York office and team members in Hong Kong, India, South Africa, UK, Ukraine, USA

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