GRI 412: Human Rights Assessment 2016 sets out reporting requirements on the topic of human rights assessment. This Standard can be used by an organization of any size, type, sector or geographic location that wants to report on its impacts related to this topic.
In the context of the GRI Standards, the social dimension of sustainability concerns an organization’s impacts on the social systems within which it operates.
GRI 412 addresses the topic of human rights assessment. The international standard that establishes the expectations of responsible conduct for organizations with respect to human rights is the United Nations (UN) ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’, endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.
An organization can impact human rights directly, through its own actions and operations. It can also impact human rights indirectly, through its interactions and relationships with others, including governments, local communities and suppliers, and through its investments.
Organizations are responsible for their impacts on the entire range of internationally recognized human rights. These rights include, at a minimum, all rights set out in the International Bill of Rights and the principles set out in the International Labour Organization (ILO) ‘Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work’. The International Bill of Rights includes the following three instruments:
- the UN Declaration, ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, 1948;
- the UN Convention, ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’, 1966;
- the UN Convention, ‘International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights’, 1966.
In addition to these three key instruments, the international legal framework for human rights includes more than 80 other instruments, from declarations and guiding principles to binding treaties and conventions. They also range from universal to regional instruments.
In order to identify, prevent and mitigate negative human rights impacts, an organization can undertake human rights reviews or impact assessments of its operations. It can also implement specialized training that equips employees to address human rights in the course of their regular work.
In addition, an organization can integrate human rights criteria in screening, or include human rights criteria in performance requirements when making contracts and agreements with other parties, such as joint ventures and subsidiaries.
The disclosures in this Standard can provide information about an organization’s approach to preventing and mitigating negative human rights impacts.
Other GRI Standards deal with specific human rights (such as GRI 408: Child Labor or GRI 411: Rights of Indigenous Peoples). In addition, the assessment of suppliers for human rights-related impacts can be reported with GRI 414: Supplier Social Assessment.
Effective date: 1 July 2018
Earlier adoption is encouraged.
GRI 412: Human Rights Assessment
1. Management approach disclosures
2. Topic-specific disclosures
Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments
Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures
Disclosure 412-3 Significant investment agreements and contracts that include human rights clauses or that underwent human rights screening