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August 03, 2009
Website Containing Human Rights Records of Corporations Adds Work by UN Representative for Business and Human Rights
    by Robert Kropp

Portal maintained by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre includes all material published by John Ruggie, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative on business & human rights.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, a UK-based non-profit whose website contains information on the human rights records of 4,000 corporations in 180 countries, has added to its website a portal for "materials relating to the work of the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative on business & human rights, John Ruggie."

Ruggie, who is a Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, was first appointed as Special Representative in 2005. The UN Human Rights Council renewed his mandate in 2008 for a three-year term.

Ruggie's original mandate called for him "to identify and clarify standards of corporate responsibility and accountability regarding human rights; elaborate on state roles in regulating and adjudicating corporate activities; clarify concepts such as "complicity" and "sphere of influence"; develop methodologies for human rights impact assessments and consider state and corporate best practices."

Upon the renewal of Ruggie's term in 2008, the UN Human Rights Council provided a mandate for his activities that include recommending ways for States for fulfill their duty to protect human rights involving corporations, providing guidance to corporations for the respect of human rights, recommending options for access to remedies for those whose human rights have been affected by corporations, integrating a gender perspective, and giving special attention to vulnerable groups.

Following the renewal of his mandate, Ruggie proposed a policy framework for managing business and human rights challenges. Ruggie based the framework on "three pillars: the state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and greater access by victims to effective remedy, judicial and non-judicial."

The portal maintained by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre "includes all materials published by the Special Representative and his team, as well as commentaries on his work."


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