UN Human Rights Norms for Business: Briefing Kit

The ESCR-Net Corporate Accountability Working Group advocates for corporate accountability at the international level. The Working Group has actively supported the UN Human Rights Norms for Business (UN Norms), as the first comprehensive, international statement of the human rights responsibilities of companies. To further education and advocacy efforts, the Working Group created and widely distributed the UN Human Rights Norms for Business: Briefing Kit.


Contents of Briefing Kit

  • Information Sheet 1: Why We Need the UN Human Rights Norms for Business: An Overview
  • Information Sheet 2: History of the Efforts in Support of the UN Human Rights Norms for Business
  • Information Sheet 3: Key Recommendations in Support of the UN Human Rights Norms for Business
  • Information Sheet 4: How To Take Action in Support of the UN Human Rights Norms for Business
  • Information Sheet 5: Further Resources regarding the UN Human Rights Norms for Business

Case Studies of Corporate Abuses and the Value of the UN Norms

  • Case Study 1: The Construction of the Candonga Dam and the Communities of Santa Cruz do Escalvado, City of Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil (GlobalJusticeCenter)
  • Case Study 2: Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), DOW Chemicals and the Bhopal Communities in India (Amnesty International)
  • Case Study 3: Placer Dome and the Marinduque Mine, the Philippines (Oxfam Community Aid Abroad)
  • Case Study 4: SHELL Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) and the Community of Rukpokwu, Rivers State, Nigeria (Amnesty International)
  • Case Study 5: Use of Caterpillar Bulldozers in House Demolitions in the Occupied PalestinianTerritories (Human Rights Watch)

Appendixes on Specific Aspects of the UN Norms

  • Appendix 1: Engendering the UN Human Rights Norms for Business (WEDO)
  • Appendix 2: Environment, Communities, and the UN Human Rights Norms for Business


Contributors to this Briefing Kit

This briefing kit has been compiled and drafted by the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), in partnership and close collaboration with:

  • Justiça Global-Global Justice Center (Brazil)
  • Centro de Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente-Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA, Argentina)
  • Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
  • Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID)
  • Amnesty International
  • Oxfam Community Aid Abroad (Australia)
  • FORUM Menschenrechte (Germany). 

We would also like to express thanks to Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP, Nigeria) and Habitat International Coalition-Housing and Land Rights Network (Egypt) for sharing information and documents that informed this project.  Finally, we are grateful to Human Rights Watch for contributing materials for a case study.

Working Group Description: