UN Global Compact Principles 1 and 2
Respect for human rights is the baseline expectation of business. Many participants in the Global
Compact are keen to go beyond the avoidance of causing harm to help support and promote the enjoyment
of human rights. This is encouraged by Principle 1 of the Global Compact, which emphasises supporting
human rights as well as respecting them. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights exists
independently of States' duties or capacity. It constitutes a universally applicable human rights
responsibility for all companies, in all situations.
Principle 2 specifically requires companies not to become complicit in human rights violations.
According to the UNGC, complicity comprises two elements: 1) an act or omission (failure to act) by a
company, or individual representing a company that “helps” (facilitates, legitimizes,
assists, encourages, etc.) another, in some way, to carry out a human rights abuse, and 2) the knowledge
by the company that its act or omission could provide such help.
For more information on the UNGC Principles 1 and 2, please see:
Principle 1: http://unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/principle1.html
Principle 2: http://unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/Principle2.html
For information on tools that can help with implementation of Principles 1 and 2, see: