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Commodity Trading Sector: a guide to good practice

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) have published a guide to good practice in the field of human rights for the Commodity Trading Sector.
Switzerland 2018
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Published in 2018, the guide is the result of a multi-stakeholder dialogue with NGOs, the private sector and the authorities of the Canton of Geneva, and was prepared jointly with the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) in London.

The guide provides background, explanations and practical steps - illustrated with examples - on how to conduct a due diligence process in respect of human rights.

The purpose of this guide is to help commodity trading companies implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct, incorporating them in their systems and corporate cultures. It also provides a tool for the whole sector to develop a shared responsible trading practice in line with international standards relevant to the respect for human rights.


The guide is also a follow up to an earlier 2017 mapping study that provided an overview of human rights issues associated with commodities trading, based on perspectives provided by company representatives and other stakeholders, as well as a review of existing reports and relevant information from civil society, academic experts and other actors.


The guide is also supported by companies in the commodity trading sector; and the leading trading association, the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA), has recently launched training for industry professionals to better understand the dimensions of due diligence outlined in the guide.

View the Guide to Good Practices


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