The State Duty to Protect
The first pillar of the Guiding Principles provides recommendations on how states can meet their existing international human rights obligations to protect against business-related human rights abuses by creating an environment that is conducive to business respect for human rights, including by:
- Working to achieve greater legal and policy coherence between their human rights obligations and their actions with respect to business, including by enforcing existing laws, identifying and addressing any policy or regulatory gaps and providing effective guidance to business;
- Fostering business respect for human rights both at home and abroad;
- Taking particular measures where there is a close nexus between the state and business such as ownership or when a state conducts commercial transactions with business (such as through government procurement or the provision of trade or export credit support);
- Helping ensure that businesses operating in conflict-affected areas do not commit or contribute to serious human rights abuses;
- Fulfilling their duty to protect when they participate in multilateral institutions (e.g., World Bank, OECD) with other states.