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Addressing the Compliance Gap? UN Initiatives to Benchmark the Human Rights Performance of States and Corporations

For the purposes of a recent article, research was undertaken in realtion to benchmarking activity by states and corporations in order to comply with human rights norms within the UN system. The tables below relate to this research. The article will be published shortly in Review of International Studies.


This table illustrates how states are utilising indicators and benchmarks with regard to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. We utilised data from The Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on State reporting to the Convention. In this table, we illustrate how African countries have complied with their reporting obligations to this treaty using four key rights: social security, work education and health.

Our research also looked into a number of other variables including the use of structural, process and outcome indicators, civil society inclusion within the reporting process, requests for information by CESCR. (Table 2)


This table illustrates engagement by multinational corporations with international human rights norms with a specific focus on the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and the human rights due diligence process which forms part of those principles. We undertook a review of the policies of 225 leading multinational corporations for this article. Companies were chosen on the basis of their size and their likelihood to be encountering human rights issues including the 20 largest companies ranked in the Forbes 200 List in the fields of apparel, technology, and food and beverage, mining, oil and gas and finance.

We also included all members of the Equator Principles and Thun Group (banks), the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (oil and gas) and the International Council on Mining and Minerals (mining).