Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector

The UNEP FI Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector is designed as an online signposting tool providing information on human rights risks for financial institutions.

Included in the tool finance practitioners will find:

  • background information on human rights and how they relate to finance
  • relevant international laws, standards and initiatives
  • key questions to assist in assessing human rights risks and impacts
  • issues relating to different industry sectors
  • key human rights topics
  • links to other relevant resources

The tool focuses specifically on human rights issues relevant to the assessment of business relationships and transactions. Links are also provided within each of the sector briefings to the broader environmental and social risk guidance provided by UNEP FI. Together these form part of the growing array of tools and guidance available to financial institutions to enhance their understanding of human rights risks.

This tool provides a framework for finance sector professionals to:

  • identify potential human rights risk in lending operations
  • assess the materiality of the human right risk
  • identify possible risk mitigants.

Financial institutions will want to use the tool to assess the human rights issues in their own business and its supply chain. They will also find it useful in reviewing other aspects of financial services provision, in addition to lending policies and practices. Whilst the tool is mainly addressed to lending managers, human rights are important in relation to all financial sector activity, so others will also find much of interest and relevance in it.

The Human Rights Guidance Tool has been fully revised in 2014. The tool was originally launched in 2007 and updated in 2011.

Table of Contents


Key Issues and Questions

Human Rights Issues by Sector

Human Rights Issues by Topic


About this tool


December 2014     United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative