The application of human rights policies and actions within the company is fundamental to ensure both its survival in the market and the sustainable development of the planet. Aware of this, 82% of the Global Compact Spanish Network members already carry out these practices according to the local report Comunicando el progreso 2019. La integración de los ODS y los Diez Principios en las empresas españolas. However, despite this sample of commitment from the private sector, there is considerable scope for improvement both in the assessment of their impact on the issue (only 9% of Spanish companies do so) and in the control of the supply chain, carried out by 16% of the companies analysed.

Taking into account the data and in order to encourage the private sector to carry out ambitious actions related to this issue, the Spanish Network has presented the translation into Spanish of the publication Explorando el futuro de las empresas y los derechos humanos, which addresses how companies can embed human rights into their corporate strategies and advance people-centred solutions to growing global challenges. 

Thus, the report produced by UN Global Compact and released last November on the occasion of the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, is designed to help businesses drive change by understanding pressing social sustainability trends and putting human rights at the core of business practices. In this respect, the publication spans major human rights themes for business leaders, which include the future of work, climate justice, effective remedy and grievance mechanisms, migrant rights, gender equality, due diligence and tackling working poverty. 

Human rights are an indispensable pillar within the Principles of the Global Compact and are reflected specifically in Principles 1 and 2. The UN initiative has also been a key player in promoting and advancing the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, an international reference framework. This is what Lise Kingo, Director General and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, wanted to enhance in an article for GreenBiz. In her own words:

‘Alongside development, human rights and peace are the founding pillars of the United Nations. And as we at the UN Global Compact have been advocating for nearly 20 years, human rights should also be the foundation for sustainable business. Now, as we commence a Decade of Action to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are committed to scaling up our support for business to make human rights a priority, and ensure that commitments are followed by meaningful, long-term actions. Let’s raise the bar and accelerate true human rights leadership.’

The publication includes data from the UN Global Compact Progress Report 2019 and CEO Study, and builds on last year’s report, Human Rights: The Foundation of Sustainable Business, which highlighted corporate implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights.