Six years after the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a special representative to study the impact of international business enterprises on individuals, last week the U.N. endorsed a global standard providing human rights advice to private companies.

The guiding principles for business and human rights are the first of their kind and consist of 30 recommendations designed to end a long-standing debate over the human rights responsibilities of corporations and other business associations, according to a press release from the U.N. The principles spell out in detail state and corporate responsibilities in the realm of human rights, and suggest approaches for remedy in the instance that these responsibilities are not met.

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