The second pillar of the UN Guiding Principles places substantial emphasis on internal corporate governance. The responsibility to respect human rights requires business to develop, implement, and verify internal policies and procedures to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts, either in their own activities or by linkage through their business relationships. Those policies and procedures extend to all company functions and implicate a range of business processes. The UN Guiding Principles thus establish key parameters for business to demonstrate how they meet their responsibility to respect. They also provide benchmarks for other stakeholders, including affected stakeholders, investors, civil society, and government regulators, to assess the effectiveness of businesses’ human rights governance structures and performance. Guiding questions for the panel: What lessons can be learned from existing firm management and internal control systems for identifying, assessing, and measuring actual and potential human rights impacts? How can those processes be effectively integrated into broader governance frameworks? How are regulators requiring or incentivizing the integration of human rights into corporate governance? What tools have been innovated by civil society organizations to assess corporate human rights performance? How are investors attributing value and cost to implementing human rights policies and procedures?
Laura Ceresna-Chaturvedi from Cividep India was invited as a commentator to respond to these questions.
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