NHRIs’ actions for the next decade of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The event on Business and Human rights brought together NHRIs from all regions, UN partners and experts, to consider the role and contributions of NHRIs in addressing corporate-related human rights impacts.

More than 200 participants shared practical strategies for NHRIs to employ to ensure corporate respect for human rights in the next decade.  

We need to think outside the box. NHRIs have an absolutely critical role to play in strengthening the current state of law

David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to a healthy environment 


June 2021 marked 10 years since the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The role of the NHRIs is crucial in the implementation of the UNGPs, as they can pressure and encourage governments to take action and meet their duty in preventing and addressing human rights abuses in the corporate world, especially on critical threats to the enjoyment of human rights, such as environmental degradation, climate crisis and technology and human rights.

The public event co-organised with OHCHR, UNDP and UNEP was an opportunity to reflect among NHRIs and with partners on the contribution of NHRIs to ensuring corporate respect for human rights in the next decade.

NHRIs can assist in rights protection in the digital space through ensuring meaningful involvement of civil society and affected groups in public policy making is also needed to reinforce accountability for State action

Isabel Ebert, UN Human Rights B-tech project 

Conclusions and outcome

NHRIs discussed the importance of intensifying their work in both emerging areas (technology and climate crisis), by learning new methods, acquiring new knowledge and strengthening their mandate.  

It is fundamental to apply the UNGPs to the new areas and NHRIs have a key role in transforming international guidance to legally binding requirements. 

NHRIs are important actors in this system, since they are both part of the national human rights protection system and of an international network of NHRIs that can act globally.  

Discussions will be submitted as contribution to the UN Working Group for the launch of their « Roadmap for implementation over the next decade » to be released at the 10th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights during 29 November-1 December 2021.

We should consider NHRIs as part of a bigger mechanism. They should not see themselves as an external group, but more as part of a system in a country

Surya Deva, Vice-Chair, UN WG BHR