Constructive Campaigning

– Applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to Civil Society Campaigning

Sune Skadegaard Thorsen, GLOBAL CSR, presented the guide ‘Constructive Campaigning’ for civil society organisations at a side-event, led by the chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Prof. Michael Addo, at the Annual Forum for Business and Human Rights 2013.

The guide is primarily written for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and describes how to use the UNGPs as a vehicle to enable positive change once adverse impacts on human rights from businesses have been identified, with the aim of a positive outcome for everyone involved. Besides NGOs, the guide is relevant for investors who seek to live up to their ‘active ownership’ responsibilities under the UN PRI (UN Principles for Responsible Investment).

The guide developed by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Danish Section, was authored by GLOBAL CSR and funded by Dreyer Fonden.

A practical example is used for illustrative purposes. The pharmaceutical business Lundbeck’s involvement with adverse human rights by users of their drugs is used for this purpose; in collaboration with Reprieve Lundbeck applied the UNGPs when it surfaced that the company was linked to the adverse impact on the US death row[1]. Lundbeck approved the content of the guide.

The guide seeks to enable NGOs achieve the biggest impact from their activities based on the global minimum standard for responsible business conduct, the UNGPs, while improving business-NGO relationships.

The UNGPs enable constructive dialogue and collaboration between NGOs and businesses in addressing adverse impacts on human rights – the workshop proposes a critical discussion on previous ‘naming and shaming’ campaign practices and proposes a ‘Constructive Campaigning’ model.

Printed versions of the guide ‘Constructive Campaigning’, that can be used by NOGs or for teaching purposes can be ordered by contacting GLOBAL CSR at


Link to the guide

Read 'Construtive Campaigning'


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