Human rights are the freedoms inherent to every human being and are outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every human being is entitled to these rights, without discrimination, regardless of race, class, sex, nationality, ethnicity, or any other status. According to the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, a company’s salient human rights issues are:
“those human rights that stand out because they are at risk of the most severe negative impact through the company’s activities or business relationships.”
Identifying a company’s salient human rights issues is the first step of human rights due diligence under the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP).
Due diligence includes knowing where to focus the company’s efforts and resources first, if it cannot address all impacts at once. It is not about ignoring less salient issues.