Business and Human Rights


Business and Human Rights

The business community is committing to human rights’ protection at full tilt, as an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria-aligned management becomes an inescapable reality. More and more undertakings are carrying out their business in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rightsand the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in the 2030 UN Agenda.  

Adopting the best practices while proactively enforcing human rights throughout the value chain is already a decisive competitiveness factor (namely as concerns relationships with investors, access to finance, branding, reputational risk mitigation, among others). On top of this, undertakings operating in the European market will soon likely be required to conduct related due diligences. The European Commission is putting together a demanding legislation package which will impose a thorough risk management process, considering the tremendous (civil) liability (and penalties) that can arise or be applied to the business community.

VdA’s Social Economy & Human Rights practice area supports undertakings in all aspects of this challenge while contributing to develop and implement the policies and strategies deemed necessary to take social sustainability concerns into account in their business and operations.


  • Drafting corporate policies (such as human rights policies, codes of ethics and conduct, corporate responsibility and sustainability policies, among others)
  • Assessing the risk of the operations, of the supply chain and across the value chain
  • Conducting Human Rights-related due diligences, including in M&A transactions (sell side and buy side)
  • Social License to Operate in connection with globalization
  • Procurement Code to regulate the relationship with suppliers
  • Impact assessments and implementation of compliance schemes
  • Taking account of Human Rights issues in draft agreements to be executed with business partners and suppliers
  • Advising on how to remedy human rights violations
  • Assisting in Human Rights violations’ lawsuits
  • Helping to fulfill non-financial reporting obligations
  • Training and capacity building programmes
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