Topic Standard Project for Human Rights

Helping businesses uphold human rights

Why human rights?

Since the last update of the GRI human rights-related disclosures in 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have become an authoritative global reference point. As a result, companies now have a better understanding of their responsibilities, which they can consequently incorporate into reporting.

Recent years have also seen new business and human rights reporting frameworks and initiatives emerge, such as the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. We have also seen the influence of the UN Guiding Principles go beyond human rights, including wider areas of responsible business conduct.

As a result of these international developments, and to ensure that GRI reporting stays up-to-date with organizational responsibilities for human rights-related reporting best practice, this project was launched by the GSSB in 2017.

About this project

The main objective of this project is to bring the GRI human rights-related Standards in line with key authoritative intergovernmental instruments in this area, namely the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD instruments.

The project aims to review and revise the range of human rights-related topics covered in the Standards and the related disclosures, to ensure they reflect best practice.

The project is carried out in two phases: through the review of the GRI Universal Standards, Phase 1 of the project focuses on ensuring overall alignment of the GRI Standards with key authoritative intergovernmental instruments in the area of human rights.

Phase 2 of the project is focused on updating individual Standards to include human right-related content and the development of new Standards or disclosures as needed. The project follows the GSSB's Due Process Protocol.

 

Phase 1: Review of GRI Universal Standards (now complete) 

A multi-stakeholder technical committee of experts was been appointed by the GSSB to make recommendations on how to align the GRI Standards with key authoritative intergovernmental instruments in the area of human rights.

The recommendations from Phase 1 have provided input into the review of the GRI Universal Standards, which are the standards that apply to all organizations that use the GRI Standards.

The proposed changes to the Universal Standards see the addition of updated content, which covers responsible business conduct and due diligence, including respect for human rights. Read more about the revisions to the Universal Standards.

 

Phase 2: Review of GRI Topic Standards

Following the release of the revised GRI Universal Standards in the second half of 2021, the GRI human rights-specific Topic Standards will be updated. These include child labor, forced labor, non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, indigenous peoples' rights, and security practices. New standards may also be developed for human rights issues not yet covered in the GRI Standards.

We launched a scoping survey to identify the priority human rights issues for revising the Topic Standards. The survey is now closed, and the results will be published shortly.

Related documents

GRI Topic Standards Project for Human Rights – Project proposal file 19 Sep 2020 English 140 KB
GRI Universal Standards project exposure draft file 19 Sep 2020 English 0 Bytes
GRI Topic Standards Project for Human Rights – Technical committee recommendations file 19 Sep 2020 English 1.3 MB
GRI Topic Standards Project for Human Rights – Technical committee terms of reference file 19 Sep 2020 English 235 KB
GRI Universal Standards Project – Project proposal file 19 Sep 2020 English 289 KB
GRI Topic Standards Project for Human Rights - Technical Committee Members file 24 Mar 2021 All 134 KB

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