Resources from the Business Network
While each of the coordinating partners creates resources relevant to the Business Network (see below), there are two major reports we have jointly produced In response to requests by Business Network members, and that are relevant for every company anywhere.
First, produced the landmark report Shared space under pressure – Business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders, co-authored by Bennett Freeman, a leading expert in the field of business and human rights. This report sheds light on the normative framework, the business case and the moral choice for businesses to act when shared civil society space is under pressure, threat or attack. It is based on 90 interviews with business leaders, UN and civil society experts and human rights defenders, many of whom are engaged in the Business Network.
We also produced The Business Case for Protecting Civic Rights, with research by V-Dem, the Varieties of Democracy Institute. This report provided a strong business case for defending civic space, as it looked at the economic impact of support for civic freedoms over time and across geographies. V-Dems extensive data enabled us to demonstrate a long-term positive relationship between stronger civic space and economic growth — meaning it is in business’s interest to support civic rights.
Guides and Toolkits:
- The UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights, The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: guidance on ensuring respect for human rights defenders – on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, 22 June 2021 – The first official interpretation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights on the issue
- ISHR, A Human Rights Defender Toolkit for Promoting Business Respect for Human Rights, 13 November 2015- an overview of the legal and policy frameworks relating to the protection of human rights in the context of business; and a range of tools for defenders to strategically engage with stakeholders.
- ISHR, Safeguarding Human Rights Defenders: Practical Guidance for Investors: Guidance for institutional investors and companies on how to respect the rights of human rights defenders.
- The Phonebook: a directory of organisations that offer support to Environmental Human Rights Defenders – EHRDs.
- ISHR and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Human Rights Defenders in the development of National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A practical guide on how States should consult human rights defenders in the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) and ensure that NAPs include protections for defenders.
- The B Team and Baker McKenzie, Eradicating Modern Slavery: A Guide for CEOs: A tactical guide for CEOs that covers strategic, operational and persuasive actions that can be taken to end modern slavery.
- The BHRRC, Database of attacks on HRDs & Business, Civic freedoms & Human Rights Defenders portal: Reports & Analysis: First global database and portal, with data and analysis on the role of business in attacks on human rights defenders, providing regional and sectoral overview of trends.
- The BHRRC, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) report & database: First global database and analysis on Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), a tactic used by some business actors to stop people raising concerns about their practices. SLAPPs can take the form of criminal or civil lawsuits brought to intimidate, bankrupt and silence critics.
For further resources on business, human rights defenders & civic freedoms, please see the extensive offerings of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, here.