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Article

21 Jul 2022

Author:
Business for Ukraine (Business4Ukraine)

Coalition of CSOs calls on companies operating in Russia to terminate or suspend operations immediately

Business4Ukraine Coalition

B4Ukraine declaration, 21 July 2022

...We, a coalition of civil society organizations, strongly condemn the continuing Russian military invasion. We are united by a common purpose: to block access to the economic and financial resources enabling Russian aggression, which is an attack on the rules-based international order itself.

In creating B4Ukraine, we appeal to the business community to support the people and territorial integrity of sovereign democratic Ukraine by abiding by the calls and expectations set forth in this document and associated guidelines...

We call on companies that have terminated or suspended their business operations and relationships in Russia to stand by those commitments until the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders is restored and accountability is imposed for war crimes and the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure and property. We also call on companies which have not yet terminated or suspended their operations to do so immediately until the above mentioned conditions are met...

As part of their responsibility to respect human rights, we call on companies – whether or not in sectors subject to compliance with sanctions and export controls – to undertake heightened human rights due diligence. Companies should identify, assess, prevent, and mitigate their actual or potential adverse impacts on human rights and the conflict due to their business operations and relationships in Russia. Along with this process, companies should consider Russia’s other violations of international law, including its occupations of Georgian and Moldovan territories, systemic abuses of its population, and complicity in human rights harms in other parts of the world. Conducting due diligence not only helps companies to identify and diminish human rights risks, but also addresses the potential legal, operational, and financial risks associated with the ongoing conflict...

...Companies claiming to provide essential goods and services also have a responsibility to clarify the criteria and process they used to reach that conclusion.

In light of their responsibilities under the UNGPs and OECD Guidelines, we expect companies to provide access to remedy for all those adversely affected by their operations, which caused, contributed to, or were directly linked to human rights harms. We urge companies to contribute to humanitarian relief and the post-conflict reconstruction of Ukraine.

We expect companies to uphold these commitments until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored and accountability imposed for war crimes and the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure and property.