Business and human rights

Businesses have responsibilities for protecting and promoting human rights.

In 2008 Professor John Ruggie, UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, proposed a policy framework for better managing business and human rights challenges. It is based on three pillars:

  • the state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business

  • the corporate responsibility to respect human rights

  • the need for greater access by victims to effective remedy, judicial and non-judicial.

Read the Ruggie Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework.

The Commission has worked on a number of projects relating to business and human rights.

Public Procurement

Business and Mega Sporting Events

Major sporting events can have a big impact on human rights, in many ways, both good and bad. In the run-up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Commission worked with the Games Organising Committee, and other partners, to address important human rights concerns and to help make the Glasgow Games an example for others to follow. A post-Games update has been published setting out lessons learned.



National Action Plan

As part of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights, the Commission, with a number of stakeholders and the Scottish Government. has started a process for the development of an Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Scotland.

Both the European Union and the United Nations have called for the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) to support the implementation of the UNGPs. Since 2011 a number of governments have developed NAPs. The first stage of a wider consultative process is the Scotland’s National Baseline Assessment on Business and Human Rights which is the basis for understanding the issues and opening up dialogue with a range of stakeholders about Scotland’s priorities in relation to business and human rights.