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Freshfields Sustainability

| 1 minute read

Five Trends to Watch in Business and Human Rights

Laws and regulations affecting business and human rights continue to evolve in an increasing number of jurisdictions and therefore affect a larger number of businesses. We have been focusing on these new legal requirements and assisting clients with ensuring compliance and reducing risks.  

We share the following five key trends in business and human rights, described in detail in a new report issued today, and available here:

1.  The legal and regulatory environment will continue to evolve and expand 

Recent and proposed trends in corporate reporting and due diligence include France, the UK, EU, US, Australia and Hong Kong.

2.  Companies will continue to innovate and collaborate in implementing the corporate respect for human rights 

These innovations include new technologies, partnerships with governments, NGOs, and employee associations, and engagement with benchmarking mechanisms and other platforms.

3.  The claims and disputes environment will continue to take a new shape 

Even companies that are passive on the UN Guiding Principles should be aware of impending developments that are likely to create new human rights-focused dispute management regimes which, either because of state intervention or commercial pressure, they may ‎not be able to ignore.

4.  Human rights will occupy a larger space in the environmental discourse (and vice versa)

Human rights will increasingly impact transactional due diligence, climate-related disputes, and the financial sector, with investors demanding proactive compliance with environmental protections and human rights.

5.  Conceptualizing human rights in the digital age 

Data privacy and data protection concerns are increasingly being discussed as critical factors in safeguarding the fundamental rights of individuals.

Please see the report for more detail. 


human rights, un guiding principles, ruggie principles