Human Rights Working Group Overview
BSR’s Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) was established in 2012 to help companies implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“Guiding Principles”). The group has grown into an international community of company practitioners representing more than 40 global companies across industries sharing practical guidance, challenges, and lessons learned from implementing the Guiding Principles across a diverse range of operational environments. HRWG picks up where the Guiding Principles left off, providing a platform where actionable, operational-level guidance is provided.
Annual activities include a mix of plenary discussions and breakout focus groups to connect companies working on similar issues during in-person meetings. The group meets nine times per year total—three times in each of three regional locations: the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
The HRWG was created to develop a safe space for a cross-sector group of companies to openly share best practices, challenges, questions, and experiences implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Furthermore, the HRWG seeks to promote implementation of the Guiding Principles in businesses around the world and develop the field of business and human rights into a robust and impactful practice.
Companies at all points along their human rights implementation journeys are welcome to join the HRWG. Meetings are structured to ensure that companies from all industries and points in their journeys will benefit from the materials and case studies presented.
Non-BSR members are welcome to join HRWG for a one-year trial membership. After the first year, companies are invited to become full BSR members in order to continue their participation in the HRWG.
All HRWG members are welcome to attend any of the meetings each year and are encouraged to have regionally-based colleagues join in different locations.
As noted above, the HRWG has three seasonal meetings taking place in the spring, summer, and fall. Each seasonal meeting takes place in three locations: the U.S., Europe, and Japan, with similar content covered in all locations.
Meetings are structured in a way that enables participants to
- Learn from and collaborate with practitioners across sectors on implementing the Guiding Principles
- Use research and benchmarking on current practices to enhance their companies’ own human rights policies, management, and reporting
- Build buy-in and internal alignment around their human rights efforts
- Develop a network of human rights and business practitioners
In addition to the meetings, the group hosts monthly webinars, and members receive a monthly newsletter with the latest trends, events, and reports on business and human rights.
Human Rights Working Group Sustainable Development Goals Alignment
Human Rights Working Group Member Information
Members can access the Human Rights Working Group collaboration site on SharePoint Online here.
The next Human Rights Working Group meetings will take place on September 25-26, 2019 in Stockholm and will be hosted by Vattenfall.
The 2019 Human Rights Working Group Schedule
- March 27-28 in New York, hosted by Microsoft
- April 16-17 in Tokyo, hosted by Sony
- April 24-25 in London, hosted by GSK
- July 18-19 in Tokyo, hosted by Recruit Holdings
- July 24-25 in St. Louis, Missouri, hosted by Bayer
- September 25-26 in Stockholm, hosted by Vattenfall
- November 11-12 in San Jose, California, with BSR Conference at the Fairmont San Jose
- December 4-5 in Basel, Switzerland, hosted by Novartis
- December 9-10 in Tokyo, host TBD