Human Rights First began to explore the intersections between business and human rights in the mid-1990s, helping develop multi-stakeholder initiatives that bring together human rights organizations and corporations to address human rights issues that arise in business operations.
We have partnered with certain members of the business community to develop ways to uphold human rights protections through mechanisms such as codes of conduct, systems of external monitoring and public reports on findings.
Human Rights First helped create three multi-stakeholder initiatives:
- Fair Labor Association (FLA) to promote and safeguard labor rights in apparel and footwear manufacturing.
- Global Network Initiative (GNI) to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights in the Internet and communications sector.
- Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights to help develop a set of standards to address the right to life and personal security in the extractives sector.
Moving forward, Human Rights First aims to strengthen existing multi-stakeholder initiatives, expand the model to other industries as appropriate, and shape the ongoing debate and definition of the human rights responsibilities of companies.