IHRB works on a range of issues relating to trade and commodities, focusing in particular on addressing adverse human rights impacts associated with the extraction of commodities as well as efforts to improve the performance of actors involved in buying, refining, trading and transporting commodities across global markets.

  • Commodities Trading: IHRB was mandated by the Swiss Government to work through a multi-stakeholder process to develop guidance for the commodities trading sector on implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This process has helped commodity trading firms integrate human rights due diligence in their company systems and cultures. Our work on this issue continues through ongoing dialogue to higlight current challenges and good practice aimed at shaping trade that is consistent with international human rights standards.
  • Natural Resources: IHRB works to embed human rights, transparency, and accountability standards in key industry sectors. Our work with businesses, governments, and civil society linked to extraction of natural resources aims to highlight human rights concerns and improve outcomes for people. For example, in Kenya we worked to foster dialogue and strengthen joint action linked to natural resource wealth and extractive activities. We are currently engaging with partners with a particular focus on copper and cotton as commodities where companies, governments, trade unions and civil society leaders in different parts of the world must work together to improve human rights outcomes.