The UN Global Compact and human rights
The UN Global Compact and human rights

The following Risk & Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The UN Global Compact and human rights
  • The ten principles of the UN Global Compact
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Who do the Sustainable Development Goals apply to?
  • Are the Sustainable Development Goals legally binding?
  • Business and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • The UN Global Compact and human rights issues
  • Signing up to the UN Global Compact
  • CEO commitment letter
  • More...

The UN Global Compact and human rights

The UN Global Compact (UNGC) is a voluntary initiative set up in 2000 under the auspices of the United Nations. Its aim is to involve commercial and 'non-business' organisations, such as academic institutions, not-for-profits and public sector organisations, in the promotion of responsible and sustainable business. Organisations which sign up to the UNGC pledge to:

  1. operate responsibly, in accordance with ten principles of sustainability encompassing human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption

  2. advance the principles within their sphere of influence

  3. demonstrate top-level commitment, including a published commitment from the CEO or equivalent to:

    1. embed the ten principles in the strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of the organisation

    2. engage in projects to advance the 17 broader UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  4. report annually on the organisation's efforts and progress

Over 9000 businesses and 3000 non-business participants are signed up to the UNGC, including such diverse organisations as The Coca Cola Company, Grant Thornton and RELX Group plc.

The ten principles of the UN Global Compact

Signatories to the UNGC agree to operate in accordance with ten principles derived from the:

  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  2. International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

  3. UN: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

  4. UN: Convention Against Corruption

The principles are split into four categories covering human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption:

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