In its efforts to assess the first decade of UNGPs implementation and develop a roadmap for meaningful action in the decade ahead, the UNGPs 10+ project recognizes the critical need to shine a brighter light on the role of the financial system in ensuring respect for human rights.
Financial sector actors play a vital role in the world's economy, have substantial leverage over a range of other sectors and business activities, and are key for ensuring corporate respect for human rights at scale.
The UNGPs call on all businesses – including financial institutions – to ensure that, at a minimum, the full range of their activities respect the rights contained in the International Bill of Rights and the ILO Core Conventions. Where financial institutions – public or private – may cause, contribute to, or be linked to negative impacts on people, they should uphold their human rights responsibilities by adopting and embedding relevant policies across the whole of their institutions and activities, conducting ongoing and iterative human rights due diligence, and playing a role in access to remedy, where appropriate.
As a means of driving more robust focus and practice in this important arena, the UNGPs 10+ project is carrying out targeted research and consultation in the key areas of:
Development finance, including but not limited to multilateral, bilateral, and national development finance institutions; microfinance institutions; community development financial institutions; and revolving loan funds.
Institutional investment, including but not limited to asset management firms, public pension funds, trade union funds, foundations, endowments, and mutual funds.
private sector commercial banks are also key financial actors in driving respect for human rights throughout economic activities, the Working Group has issued
existing guidance in that area and has prioritized development finance and institutional investment within the context of the UNGPs 10+ project as these two areas have received less attention, dedicated dialogue, and guidance to date.
These two project tracks involve multi-stakeholder dialogues and are resulting in a number of public outputs in the form of strategic submissions to standard-setting process and position papers from the Working Group, all of which can be viewed below as they become publicly available.
Development finance track
Institutional investors track