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Human Rights

Posted: Wednesday 8 April 15, 7.28am GMT

We have been working on the human rights agenda for a number to support companies in understanding and embedding the human rights agenda through their business and supply chain.

With the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework outlined so well in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, also known as ‘The Ruggie Principles’ the responsibility for the upholding of the principles falls squarely on governments and business alike. The developments in UK company law, and in the EU bring this matter to the fore. The adoption of an EU directive on the subject requires an annual disclosure statement of non-financial and diversity information by large EU companies. This statement is to encompass environmental, social and employee-related matters, respect for human rights, anti- corruption and bribery matters. The statement is required to include a description of the policies, outcomes and the risks related to these matters. The Directive came into force on 6 December 2014 and EU Member States have two years to December 2016 to transpose the directive into national legislation ensuring the Human Rights agenda is essential in company reporting. Having continued to provide Chatham House Roundtable events on the subject for business we were also pleased to recently partner the UN Global Compact UK on a webinar to again bring the agenda to people’s attention.

In addition in February the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework is now available for companies worldwide. The Reporting Framework is the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on how they respect human rights. This was a widely consulted framework led by SHIFT and supported by Mazars with Unilever piloting the framework amongst a few others. Richard Karmel, a Partner at Mazars, explains how regulation and voluntary initiatives will improve corporate respect for human rights. Read the entire article Building respect for human rights and business through regulation.

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