All companies worldwide have a responsibility to respect human rights, regardless of their size, structure or sector. This basic societal expectation was confirmed and substantiated with the adoption of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (‘Guiding Principles’) by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Respecting human rights means that businesses should not infringe on human rights and that they respect the dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals affected by their activities, products or services. These individuals include those potentially affected directly by a company’s own activities (such as its own employees, consumers and communities in the vicinity of its production sites). In addition, they also include persons who could be affected indirectly by the business relationships linked to the company’s products and services (such as workers along the value chain or unrelated third parties).To meet their responsibility to respect human rights, companies must proactively practise human rights due diligence. For a company to know and show that it is respecting human rights, it should assess on an ongoing basis where there is a risk of potential negative impacts and what actual negative impacts it is having on people through its business activities and relationships. This allows it to take appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts, as well as taking steps to remedy the situation where adverse impacts have already occurred. An increasing number of companies are beginning to establish and strengthen their own human rights due diligence processes. Corporate practice in this area is continuously evolving. Because of the wide range of business models and business activities and the related variety of risks of adverse human rights impacts, human rights due diligence must be operationalised within the specific context of each individual company. Approaches for assessing human rights risks and impacts and for dealing with the identified challenges will thus also vary from company to company.