Business and Human Rights



Business enterprises should respect human rights. This means that they should avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved.

The responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights refers to internationally recognized human rights – understood, at a minimum, as those expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. They are based on the United Nations' „Protect Respect and Remedy” Framework, meant for governments to help protect against human rights abuse by third parties.

The responsibility to respect human rights requires that business enterprises:


  • Avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities, and address such impacts when they occur;

  • Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts.


As an example of good practice, the Open for Business Coalition promotes social tolerance, non-violence and actively combating discrimination towards LGBTIQ persons in business. An excellent starting point for further researching the place of human rights in business is the Business Human Rights webpage, where information and news on how businesses act on human rights issues are searchable by topic.

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were developed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, John Ruggie. The Guiding Principles were translated from English as part of the „Philanthropy for  Human Rights“ project, implemented by GONG, The Centre for Peace Studies and Documenta, with partnership from The Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development and as part of the CSO Fund of the EEA and Kingdom of Norway, implemented in Croatia by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights require companies to have in place policies of accountability towards human rights, due diligence processes to identify and prevent human rights violations, and processes to remediate the impacts or contributions to human rights violations. This requirement pertains to all businesses, regardless of area of work, ownership or structure. The Guiding Principles also require businesses to cooperate with stakeholders who use assessment results, based on qualitative and quantitative indicators, to track their human rights impacts, publicly report on their work, include human rights concerns in their respective business strategies and link concern for human rights with their own risk management processes, codes of conduct and other tools.


Index of Corporate Social Responsibility in Croatia

The Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce have, for the ninth time, called for submissions to the contest for inclusion in the Index of Corporate Social Responsibility, an initiative to grade voluntary socially responsible practices of Croatian businesses. The contest is conducted in a way that enables businesses an objective self-assessment of their socially responsible practices and comparison with others through a standardized questionnaire. This year, businesses who have applied for the contest, have the chance to take part in the first contest for the Special Human Rights Award.



Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights- croatian