Social and Environmental Standards


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Social and Environmental Standards

Social and environmental standards exist in a number of areas: for consumer products, the financing of development projects and for the adoption of trade and investments agreements. Such standards seek to ensure that fundamental social rights such as labour rights are observed and harmful impacts on the environment are reduced and they offer complaint mechanisms which can help reveal non-compliance. While social and environmental standards do not always mention human rights explicitly, they do need to reflect human rights obligations. Next to international human rights treaties, since 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide an international reference in this regard.

Social and Environmental Standards of Development Banks

GIHR event on 13 November 2013: Human rights risk standards in foreign trade and investment / Menschenrechtliche Risikostandards im System der Außenwirtschaftsförderung (German only)

Lorand Bartels (2014): Study - A Model Human Rights Clause for the EU’s International Trade Agreements


Porträt Jan Christian Niebank

Jan-Christian Niebank
Policy Adviser
Human Rights and Business
Phone: +49 30 25 93 59 - 243
e-mail: niebank(at)

Andrea Kämpf
Senior Policy Adviser
Phone: +49-30-259-359-51
Fax: +49-30-259-359-59
E-mail: kaempf(at)