The Human Rights and Business Department researches and releases a publications that clarify the obligations of companies to various stakeholders. Some of these publications are created specifically for companies, and present strategies for managing risks in their specific operational environment. Other publications are aimed at the wider field of business and human rights, clarifying the obligations of companies to various stakeholders.
The Human Rights and Business Department Strategy presents the objective, mission and planned activities of the department from 2011-2015.
The Human Rights and Business Strategy 2011-2015 begins with the Business Department’s overall objective of improving the human rights practices of private-sector actors worldwide. From this basis, the strategy defines a vision, mission and a series of activities undertaken by the department in the next four years to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunities faced by the field of business and human rights.
The strategy defines five Key Result Areas, each representing an area of expertise where the Business Department aims to expand and develop in collaboration with other key human rights and business actors:
- Corporate Engagement: Enable companies to mainstream human rights commitment and compliance.
- Knowledge Base and Innovation: Develop concepts, methodologies and tools to improve practices in businesses.
- International Frameworks and Agenda Setting: Support the inclusion of private-sector impacts in international frameworks.
- Capacity Building of State and Civil Society: Assist governments, public bodies and civil society to address private-sector impacts.
- NHRI Work: Utilize our role as Denmark’s National Human Rights Institution to contribute to the domestic business agenda and the international NHRI agenda.
Each Key Result Area is described in detail, alongside specific initiatives undertaken by the Business Department throughout the strategy period.
The Human Rights and Business Department and the UN Global Compact have collaborated to launch a new approach to in-company human rights management: The Arc of Human Rights Priorities.
The Arc builds upon the Sphere of Influence concept, and is designed to allow companies to focus their resources on the most urgent human rights issues in their operations.
The Arc of Human Rights Priorities maps human rights issues along two axes: Human Rights Impact and Company Connection. These dimensions allow companies to identify the human rights risks with the greatest impact and the most direct company responsibility. The Arc exercise identifies 'high-priority' issues for each company, including a graphic representation of the company's human rights profile. This prioritization allows companies to monitor, prevent and mitigate the most urgent issues, as well as find opportunities for the greatest positive impact.
For more information, contact Claire O'Brien: COB
Download the Arc here.
For further information, please contact Claire Methven O'Brien: COB [AT] humanrights.dk
Download the Values Added publication here.
In July 2008 The Danish Institute for Human Rights hosted the first-ever meeting of National Human Rights Institutions focusing on the issue of Business and Human Rights. The Roundtable was organised in cooperation with the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Sixteen National Human Rights Institutions from Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe participated in the two-day meeting, which also saw interventions from a number of international business and human rights experts and practitioners.
The objective of the roundtable was twofold:
- 1) to clarify how NHRIs can leverage their mandates and collective resources to play a role within business and human rights debates at domestic and international levels
- 2) to discuss the formation of a National Human Rights Institutions Working Group dedicated to this purpose.
Decision Map: Doing Business in High-Risk Human Rights Environments
This guide uses a decision-map framework to help companies consider human rights questions systematically before undertaking operations in states with poor human rights records.
Download free pdf.
Defining the Scope of Responsibility for Human Rights Abroad
This paper addresses the two questions at the heart of the business and human rights field: What are the human rights obligations of business, and how far do these obligations extend?
The guide presents approaches to these issues from businesses and human rights groups, and includes a methodology for companies to address these questions in their operations.
Download free pdf.
Complicity in Human Rights Violations: A Responsible Business Approach to Suppliers
One of the most complex human rights problems for companies is complicity in violations committed by suppliers. This working paper presents information and approaches for companies who seek to perform due diligence on supplier complicity and enlarge the scope of their human rights policies.
The working paper is the result of a series of meetings with small- and medium-size enterprises, and draws upon real-world concerns and experiences.
Download free pdf.
Strengthening Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Supply Chains
The Danish Institute for Human Rights, Business for Social Responsibility, The World Bank Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers present a study on the challenges of achieving social and environmental standards in developing country suppliers.
Download free pdf.
The Promise of a Human Rights and Business Commission
A review of existing resolution mechanisms for complaints involving business and human rights. The report recommends the establishment of a Human Rights and Business Commission (HRBC) to fill the gap in existing mechanisms and resolve human rights and business disputes in a fast and effective manner.
The report was commissioned by the Human Rights and Business Department in collaboration with the Confederation of Danish Industries and the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries and was conducted by researchers at Princeton University
Download free pdf
Corporate Codes of Conduct in Denmark – An Examination of Their CSR Content
This study examines the content of Danish companies’ codes of conduct, including their inclusion of international standards on human rights. The report was prepared for the Confederation of Danish Industries by Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen of the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
Download free pdf.
The HRCA Quick Check is a free, condensed version of the full HRCA tool. The Quick Check includes approximately 10 percent of the questions contained in the HRCA database, and allows companies to create a general overview of the human rights risks in their operations. The tool was developed in cooperation with a group of development finance institutes.
Access to the Quick Check is free. Download pdf
Hard copies can be purchased for €35
Download free pdf
The publication ‘Defining the Scope of Business Responsibilities for Human Rights Abroad’ from 2000 was jointly published by DIHR, DI and IFU. The publication indicates our joint-understanding on the business responsibility to ‘respect’, and the government responsibility to ‘protect’, ‘promote’ and ‘fulfill’. This publication lays the foundation for all our tools (including the HRCA) and methodologies.
Memorandum submitted by The Danish Institute of Human Rights to UK Parliament Human Rights Joint Committee for the publication 'Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector'
Mads Holst Jensen, 'Promoting Human Rights and Business in China', in DFA/PDIV (ed.), Human Security and Business, chapter 6, pp. 86-97 (Zürich: Rüffer & Rub, 2007)
Stefano Ponte; Lisa Ann Richey; Mike Baab, "Bono's Product (RED) Initiative: Corporate Social Responsibility That Solves the Problems of 'Distant Others'", Third World Quarterly, Volume 30, Issue 2, March 2009 , pages 301 - 317.
Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen, 'A place to stand upon: the development of a human rights compliance assessment for companies’, Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik, Vol. 6, No. 3 (2005).
Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen & Christina Schultz , ‘Human Rights in a Corporate Perspective’, in Mette Morsing & Christina Thyssen (red.), Values and Responsibility: The Case of Denmark (Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur, 2003).
Margaret Jungk , ‘A Practical Guide to Addressing Human Rights Concerns for Companies Operating Abroad’, in M. Addo (eds.), Human Rights Standards and the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations ( the Hague : Klüwer, 1999).
'The Human Rights Compliance Assessment’ in United Nations Global Compact & Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Embedding Human Rights in Business Practice (New York: Global Compact Office, 2004).
‘The Human Rights Compliance Assessment’, in Claude Fussler, Aron Cramer and Sebastian van der Vegt (eds.), Raising the Bar – Creating Value with the United Nations Global Compact (Sheffield: Greenleaf, 2004).
'Shell Pilots on the Human Rights Compliance Assessment’, in Claude Fussler, Aron Cramer and Sebastian van der Vegt (eds.), Raising the Bar – Creating Value with the United Nations Global Compact (Sheffield: Greenleaf, 2004).