Analysing companies' human rights obligations in conflict & post-conflict environments

Author: Anna Triponel, Rights as Usual, Published on: 23 January 2019

"Companies Operating in a Conflict or Post-Conflict Country: Exercise Leverage or Stand Ready for Litigation", 22 Jan. 2019

For businesses, just as for people, it is incredibly difficult to operate responsibly in a conflict or post-conflict setting. But make no mistake, this difficulty has never served as an extenuating factor for companies that have faced challenges to their business conduct: quite the contrary, companies who continue to operate in these environments are held to a higher standard, by virtue of how their choices and actions can further harm already-suffering civilians…

While there will never be an easy answer for companies operating in these challenging contexts, there is increasingly a spectrum of possible actions in between the ‘should I stay or should I go.’ All of these entail the careful consideration of a range of questions, as well as consideration of how leverage can best be built with relevant stakeholders…

Companies are not expected to take on the role of the United Nations,…But they are expected to ask themselves tough questions to continually assess whether their efforts are effective in this challenging environment and how they can create new and innovative ways to reduce harm to people through their operations…

We see that the environments companies operate in are subject to rapid change. A country that may be viewed as post-conflict, may remain very fragile and/or rapidly back track into full blown conflict; a country that is perceived as stable may suddenly be faced with conflict in one region. Companies are expected to be prepared for these possibilities… 

[Refers to BP, Chiquita, Drummond, FIFA, Heineken, H&M, Lafarge, Qosmos, Safaricom and Tchibo]

Read the full post here

Related companies: BP Chiquita Drummond FIFA H&M Heineken Lafarge (part of LafargeHolcim) LafargeHolcim Qosmos Safaricom Tchibo