Saturday 10th Dec 2016 - Logistics Manager

Almost half of global businesses neglect human rights risks

Almost 50 per cent (49 per cent) of major global businesses do not have a human rights due diligence process in place, a global study by the British Institute of International & Comparative Law (BIICL) has found.

Only 51 per cent of companies had a dedicated human rights assessment, including the full range of human rights obligations, in place. 77 per cent of this group identified actual or potential human rights impacts, and 72 per cent identified adverse impacts linked to the activities of their third party relationships.

Only 19 per cent of the companies who had not implemented human rights due diligence, and instead used other methods, identified potential or adverse impacts. Only 29per cent identified adverse impacts linked to the activities of their third party relationships.

Professor Robert McCorquodale, Director of BIICL, said:

“Human rights due diligence is assuming a hard legal dimension that transcends the traditional understanding of CSR and addresses actual impacts on the rights of others.

Although significant changes to national and EU laws have made the human rights performance of companies an increasingly important corporate issue, our report has found that half of companies don’t even have a dedicated human rights due diligence process, and as a result, they are failing to pick up adverse human rights impacts in their business, and with third parties, such as suppliers. This is despite the clear recommendations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which is the international standard in this area.”