Human Rights


Human Rights


The Human Rights sub-Category covers the extent to which processes have been implemented, incidents of human rights violations, and changes in stakeholders’ ability to enjoy and exercise their human rights.

Among the human rights issues included are non-discrimination, gender equality, freedom of association, collective bargaining, child labor, forced or compulsory labor, and indigenous rights.

There is growing global consensus that organizations have the responsibility to respect human rights.

The international legal framework for human rights is comprised of a body of law made up of treaties, conventions, declarations and other instruments. The corner stone of human rights is the United Nations (UN) International Bill of Rights, which is formed by three instruments:
  • United Nations (UN) Declaration, 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights', 1948
  • United Nations (UN) Convention, 'International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights', 1966
  • United Nations (UN) Convention, 'International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights', 1966

These are the first reference points for any organization reporting on human rights. In addition to these three key instruments, the international legal framework for human rights is underpinned by over 80 other instruments. These instruments range from soft declarations and guiding principles to binding treaties and conventions, and range from universal to regional instruments.

Organizations can affect a wide range of human rights. In assessing which human rights are relevant for reporting, the organization should consider all human rights.

Additional instruments which may be useful for the organization to consider are:
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration, 'Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work', 1998 which builds upon the eight core Conventions of the ILOI:
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 29, 'Forced Labour Convention', 1930
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 87, ‘Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention’, 1948
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 98, ‘Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention’, 1949
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 100, 'Equal Remuneration Convention', 1951
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 105, 'Abolition of Forced Labour Convention', 1957
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 111, ‘Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention’, 1958
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 138, 'Minimum Age Convention', 1973
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 182, 'Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention', 1999
  • Regional conventions, adhering to the principle of universality in the International Bill of Rights, for areas where the organization operates, including:
    • African Union Charter, ‘African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981
    • League of Arab States, ‘Arab Charter on Human Rights’, 1994
    • Organization of American States (OAS), ‘American Convention on Human Rights’, 1969
    • European Court of Human Rights, ‘European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’, 1950
  • Conventions protecting the rights of individuals who may be impacted by the organization’s work, including but not limited to:
    • United Nations (UN) Convention, ‘Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)’, 1979
    • United Nations (UN) Convention, 'Convention on the Rights of the Child', 1989
    • United Nations (UN) Convention, 'International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination', 1965
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 107, 'Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention', 1957
    • International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, 'Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention', 1991
    • United Nations (UN) Declaration, 'United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples', 2007
    • United Nations (UN) Convention, 'Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities', 2006

It is important to note that many Aspects that provide insight into human rights performance and impacts can be found in other (sub-)Categories in the Guidelines, and are not limited to the Human Rights sub-Category.

I Conventions 100 and 111 pertain to non-discrimination; Conventions 87 and 98 pertain to freedom of association and collective bargaining; Conventions 138 and 182 pertain to the elimination of child labor; and Conventions 29 and 105 pertain to the prevention of forced or compulsory labor.


Additional references