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4 Apr 2023

B4Ukraine Coalition

Letter to Accor regarding its ongoing business activities in Russia

...We write to you as B4Ukraine, a coalition of Ukrainian and international civil society organizations working to curtail the financial resources enabling the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the spirit of respect for the fundamental rights of all people, the rules-based international order, and a prosperous global economy, we expect companies to demonstrate public support for the people, democracy, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, opposition to Russia’s war of aggression, and alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

We request an urgent dialogue regarding potential inconsistencies between Accor SA’s...obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and the company’s ongoing business operations and relationships in Russia that may contribute to, or be linked with, human rights harms...

...[I]n February 2023, Accor’s CEO stated that pulling out of Russia is “not an option,” and that the company will not leave the country until there is a legal basis to do so. Mr. Bazin claims that the “fiduciary duty to make money for shareholders holds sway” and that the only way Accor will terminate its Russian business is by imposing stricter sanctions that will legally oblige the company to leave. The CEO also allegedly stated that the distress of Accor’s Russian employees is “greater than that of those in Ukraine.”

These activities in Russia risk enabling and financing Russia’s violations of IHL and human rights law during the ongoing invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

We seek to understand the status of Accor’s exposure to Russia and how Accor has conducted and continues to conduct heightened human rights due diligence, and how the findings of such a process have resulted in these continued business activities and relationships....