Due diligence of human ridhts as a new way of human rights protection
This article aims to analyze a new phenomenon, taking place in the sphere of human rights protection. Companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, which means to act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others. This is the message the UN Human Rights Council sent to all actors in 2008 as part of adopting unanimously the Protect, Respect and Remedy policy framework for business and human rights put forward by John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights. The protection of human rights, including where it relates to business, is the primary obligation of the state. However, in many parts of the world, and in specific contexts, governments continue to be unable or unwilling to live up to all their duties. Companies have the responsibility to respect human rights, but there have been several instances where companies have failed to live up to international standards or expectations. In cases of state inability and failure, the onus increasingly falls on companies to be more proactive in the field of human rights. It is against this background that the UN Human Rights Council sought to clarify the obligations for states and the responsibilities of business by adopting the Special Representative’s framework.