Business, Human Rights & the SDGs (BSDC)

Who’s behind it? – Business & Sustainable Development Commission, Shift


How can it help? –  This paper by Shift makes the case for the Business and Sustainable Development Commission to take a lead in changing the current discourse on business and social development, by recognising and harnessing the unique potential of the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. It reviews statistical evidence on the scale of populations across global supply chains that are exposed to abuses of their human rights, while also highlighting evidence of the strong and growing convergence between these risks to people and risks to business itself. It also examines why the current discourse on the role of business in social development has skipped over the tremendous scale of positive impacts to be achieved through advancing respect for human rights.

The paper goes on to assert that the Sustainable Development Goals present an opportunity to fundamentally update our vision of the role of business in sustainable development. It makes the strong point that there is no more pressing or more powerful way for business to accelerate social development than by driving respect for human rights across their value chains. The document closes with a set of specific recommendations about how to embed this vision at the heart of how business gets done. It represents an essential reference point for companies as they look to consider how to align SDG alignment and communication with their human rights-related commitments and agenda.


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