In 2003, we set out to find practical ways of implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a business context. These practical ways are now clear to business. Our next challenge is to implement these practices in our own organizations, sectors and value chains around the world. As our work here comes to a close, there are now foundations to build from and windows of opportunity for the global business community to go further. This site is the ‘Legacy Website’ for the six years of work that took place between March 2003 and March 2009.
The Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights has been a business-led organization involving 16 of the world’s major brands during this period.
The diversity of sectors and individuals involved, plus the engagement with a wide range of stakeholders has made the process a rich experience for member companies. A great deal has been learned about the importance of a progressive space for sharing, debate, learning and hard work. In developing tools and policy views in this area, we hoped to support a reduction in human rights abuses by corporations, the development of a level playing field and ultimately a way of doing business that is socially sustainable for all. However, it is now time for our work to be judged by the wider business community – not least the 6000 signatories of the United Nations Global Compact who have made public commitments to respect human rights but often struggle to translate this commitment into action. On this site you will find:
- The final BLIHR #4 Report, The policy report outlining key lessons and insights from the work and experiences of the past 6 years. Download previous BLIHR reports.
- Our latest tools/resources, most notably the revised online Guide for Integrating Human Rights into Business Management and the Human Rights Matrix
- A list to key initiatives that have come directly out of our work, or that will take forward the spirit of our work
Finally, we would like to thank Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, former President of Ireland and currently president of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative. Mary’s leadership and challenge has been a key catalyst to BLIHR and to the wider business community.