Business and Human Rights


Business and human rights (BHR) refer to the concept and framework that emphasizes the responsibility of businesses to respect and promote human rights in their operations. The foundation for business and human rights is the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights rest on three pillars:
1. State duty to protect against human rights abuses committed by third parties, including businesses, through appropriate policies, regulations and adjudication;
2. Corporate responsibility to respect human rights and conduct human rights due diligence;
3. Greater access by victims to effective remedies, both judicial and non-judicial

Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights

The responsibility to respect human rights applies to all enterprises regardless of size, sector, operational context, ownership, and structure. The responsibility to respect is applicable throughout business activities, including engagements with vendors, suppliers and customers.
To meet the responsibility to respect, businesses must avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through business activities. Furthermore, when such impacts occur, businesses should take prompt action to prevent or mitigate adverse effects and offer compensation to victims.

Policy Commitment:

A business enterprises’ commitment to respect human rights can start with a statement of policy. The policy statement must be supported by its top management and implemented in all business operations. The policy statement shall be publicly available and communicated to internal staff and business partners.

Human Rights Due Diligence:

Human rights due diligence is the process of assessing actual and potential impacts on human rights. This process is important to periodically identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for the adverse impacts on human rights through business activities.


Businesses may often times contribute to or cause adverse impacts on human rights. In such cases, businesses shall cooperate and provide remediation through legitimate judicial or non-judicial processes.


The Human Rights Benchmarking and Certification of Businesses is a key initiative by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) to promote and uphold business and human rights in the country. The primary purpose of the certification is to recognize leaders in the field of business engagement and human rights. It also incentivizes businesses to prioritize and promote a culture of respect for human rights within their enterprises while fostering competition among businesses to strive for higher human rights standards.
This program aims to measure and recognize businesses that demonstrate a commitment to respecting human rights based on international standards and frameworks, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Upon evaluation, businesses will be awarded with Gold, Silver or Bronze certification. Businesses can apply for the voluntary Human Rights Benchmarking and Certification audit scheme, which will focus on the following key themes:
• Governance;
• Embedding Respect and Human Rights Due Diligence;
• Remedies and Grievance Mechanisms; and
• Company Human Rights Practices.

Application Form