Platform for Human Rights Indicators for Business - HRIB

  1. Introduction to this platform
  2. Background and methodology of the indicators, their development and update
  3. The indicators (downloadable versions of the consultation draft sections)
  4. Case studies demonstrating the use of the indicators
  5. Interaction and engagement how to get involved
  6. Links to other human rights and business activities

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Introduction

Welcome to the Danish Institute for Human Rights’ platform Human Rights Indicators for Business (HRIB).

Business plays a major role in the lives of all humans, and questions on human rights issues are piling up on the corporate agenda as never before. The objective of the HRIB platform is to create a space where individual companies, subject-matter experts and civil society actors can interact and engage in dialogue on the topic of indicators as a means of measuring and addressing business impacts on human rights.

The Human Rights Indicators for Business is an open source database of 1,000 indicators that enable companies and other stakeholders to assess corporate policies, procedures and practices on human rights.

The indicators measure corporate respect for human rights against the substantive content of human rights as they are defined in international instruments - allowing you to benchmark the actual performance of human rights due diligence processes.

  • Tried and tested: In use since 2005, the indicators, which formed the Human rights Compliance Assessment tool, have been applied by companies, in real-world practice, for more than a decade.
  • Human rights made simple: More than 80 international human rights instruments have been translated into systematic checklists covering company policies, procedures and practices.
  • Rigorous consultation: More than 70 companies and human rights organizations and 35 researchers participated in the five-year consultation before the launch of the indicators.
  • Continuously updated: The indicators have been refined through years of practical application, and have been updated to reflect changes in international frameworks.

On this platform you can find a consultation draft of indicators, as well as more information on how to participate in the further development of human rights indicators for businesses.

Background and methodology

The indicators were designed and developed by DIHR, with funding from Danida, the Confederation of Danish Industries, the Danish Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries, the International Finance Corporation and the EU Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs.

The development, consultation and testing of the tool spanned five years and involved more than 70 companies and human rights organizations and 35 researchers. Companies involved in the consultations included large corporations and small enterprises. Representatives from the extractive, pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, telecommunications, manufacturing and apparel sectors all participated.

This broad and wide-ranging participation resulted in a multifaceted and comprehensive review of the indicators, and ensured that the tool reflected a wider consensus within the business and human rights communities. The consultation process consisted of expert reviews, 40 dialogue reviews, a development bank conference and a specialist committee meeting.

  • Expert Reviews: Human rights experts were recruited to review and evaluate indicators. They were selected for their specialised human rights expertise, and contributed extensive knowledge on labour standards; economic, social and cultural rights; and vulnerable groups.
  • Dialogue Reviews: 40 teams of paired company and NGO representatives reviewed the content of the indicators. The purpose of pairing company and NGO representatives was to create a balance between the interests of companies and NGOs. Following the dialogue review, each team met with a representative from DIHR to discuss suggestions for modifications. Subsequently, the agreed changes were incorporated into the indicators.
  • Specialist Committee Meeting: After the dialogue reviews, outstanding issues were reviewed by the Specialist Committee, consisting of five representatives from human rights groups and five from the business community.

Timeline

The indicators went online in 2005 and have been continuously updated to reflect experiences from its application, as well as changes in the underlying human rights standards.

In 2011 the indicators were updated and an online Human Rights Compliance Assessment (HRCA) Portal was created. Access the Portal here. When subscribing to the HRCA Portal, companies and other users can generate customised checklists that suit their size, operations and geographic location.

In 2014 DIHR began updating the content of the indicators to reflect ongoing developments in the area of business and human rights.

DIHR intends for the indicators to be a living document:  All actors with relevant knowledge and experience are invited to comment on the tool’s content, allowing us to make any necessary improvements. We see this as an interactive process between DIHR and all those concerned with business and human rights.

To enable this process, DIHR has made a consultation draft of the indicators available in full (download it below)

DIHR has also created a portfolio of case studies from former and current users of the indicators. The portfolio will be updated continuously.

Consultation draft

The indicators can be used by businesses, national human rights institutions, civil society groups, governments, consumers and others, to evaluate whether businesses have effective human rights due diligence measures in place across their operations – including human resources, health and safety, product quality and marketing, communities, security, government relations and supply-chain management.

Each section of this public consultation draft includes an introduction that elaborates on the status of the draft, current challenges and areas for further engagement. We urge all stakeholders to get involved in the content, the use of and the implementation of the indicators (see “Interaction and Engagement”).

Introduction / Zip-file with all documents

Links to the sections:

  1. Management 
  2. Human Resources
  3. Workplace health and safety
  4. Product quality and marketing practices
  5. Community impact
  6. Security arrangements
  7. Legal and governmental affairs
  8. Contractors and supply chain

Case Studies

This section contains examples of how HRCA indicators have been applied across the world, by a variety of companies. This section will be continuously updated to provide more information and inspiration on the application of the tool.

Company case studies

NHRI case studies

Other users

Interaction and engagement

DIHR would like to engage with stakeholders on the content and implementation of the indicators. This includes providing case studies, sending submission on specific components and engaging with us on projects to improve and advance the content of the tool.

To submit your feedback, click on the form here.

You can also contact us directly: [email protected]

Project Linkages

The HRIB is linked and contributes to a number of other projects and activities. Below are statements if synergies and collaboration.