Institute for International Economic Policy
A Policy Brief - Getting Rights...Right: How Companies are Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Contributed by Susan Ariel Aaronson
The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 2011, delineated that firms have human rights responsibilities. However, the Guiding Principles are unlikely to have much influence unless policymakers make human rights a policy priority. Executives will need guidance, tools, and experience to learn how to respect and remedy human rights. This policy brief outlines recommendations to policymakers, so they can help more executives "get rights right." I also argue that policymakers from countries committed to the Guiding Principles should work with other states to educate executives, citizens, and government officials regarding the human rights responsibilities of corporations.
Why is this important?
- -The success of the Guiding Principles depends on the willingness of UN member states to prod the world's businesses to implement these principles. In a time of tight budgets and concern about overregulation and unemployment, policymakers will have to rely on incentives to change business behavior.
- -Domestic and foreign firms face international human rights risks. These human rights risks are increasingly material to investors and are also of concern to stakeholders.
- -Coherent international business and human rights policies are in the taxpayer's interest.
How Policy Makers Can Help Firms Get Rights Right
Costas Arkolakis, Yale
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