The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with other core instruments, outlines the human rights responsibilities of states towards individuals and collectivities. States have the obligation to respect and implement all of the provisions of the Declaration and related instruments. The responsibilities and obligations of states to protect, respect, and fulfill human rights have been formally articulated for some time.
These responsibilities were further elaborated in the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights, which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.
It is comprised of three core pillars
First, the state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties including business through appropriate policies, regulation, and adjudication.
Second, the business responsibility to respect human rights, which means to act with due diligence, to avoid infringing on the rights of others, and to address any adverse impacts.
And thirdly, the joint responsibility of States and business to provide for greater access for victims of human rights abuse to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial.
The UN guiding principles are now embedded in the corporate policy frameworks of a number of extractive companies and industry organizations.
The UN guiding principles requires that businesses assess their human rights impacts and address any human rights issues in their purview including in their supply chain. The guiding principles encourage businesses to achieve this by having a policy commitment to respecting human rights, by conducting human rights due diligence which involves an ongoing risk management process to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for how the company addresses human rights impacts, and by having a process in place for the remediation of adverse human rights impacts. In short, this means making a public commitment, doing your homework to make sure that your actions won’t infringe on the rights of others, and ensuring that if something does go wrong there’s a system in place to respond.
The extractive industries are pivotal to the economies of many developing countries. At the same time, this sector often opens the door to human rights issues so serious that they can devastate vulnerable communities. Barksanem™ works intentionally and steadfastly to develop solutions to these varied and diverse issues by working directly with the concerned collectivities.