Guiding Principle 5

States should exercise adequate oversight in order to meet their international human rights obligations when they contract with, or legislate for, business enterprises to provide services that may impact upon the enjoyment of human rights.

Commentary

States do not relinquish their international human rights law obligations when they privatize the delivery of services that may impact upon the enjoyment of human rights. Failure by States to ensure that business enterprises performing such services operate in a manner consistent with the State’s human rights obligations may entail both reputational and legal consequences for the State itself. As a necessary step, the relevant service contracts or enabling legislation should clarify the State’s expectations that these enterprises respect human rights. States should ensure that they can effectively oversee the enterprises’ activities, including through the provision of adequate independent monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

What National Action Plans say on Guiding Principle 5