On May 30, 2016, ahead of the 2016 International Labour Conference, Shift Chair and author of the UN Guiding Principles John Ruggie wrote a letter to ILO Director General Guy Ryder on specific aspects to be addressed at the Conference related to the Guiding Principles.
This letter was originally published by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.
I have been following with great interest the preparations for discussions on decent work in global supply chains at the upcoming International Labour Conference. And I very much welcome the references to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in the ILO background report (“Decent work in global supply chains”). As you know, the UNGPs carefully frame corporate responsibility in supply chain contexts in a manner that all stakeholder groups have found useful, and which contributed to the UNGPs’ unanimous endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council.
In the interest of sustaining and building on that consensus, allow me to allow two points of clarification intended to ensure that the excellent background paper is not misunderstood on the subject of the UNGPs. (I will share this letter with interested stakeholders.) The first point concerns the concept of “control” by lead firms, and the second the “cause/contribute/linked to” distinction embodies in the UNGPs.