New report presents evidence-based economic arguments for co. to promote human rights

Author: ICAR, Frank Bold & BHR Young Researchers Summit, Published on: 10 January 2019

'Good Business: The Economic Case for Protecting Human Rights', 20 Dec 2018

[T]he Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit, supported by and in collaboration with the ICAR and Frank Bold, launched a project on evidence-based economic arguments for companies to promote human rights. […]

[The] authors unearth available evidence in support of economic arguments for corporate human rights respect in four areas:

  1. Managing how companies affect human rights;
  2. Responding to government incentives intended to protect human rights;
  3. Handling the costs of litigation over corporate abuses; and
  4. Anticipating trends for sustainable business.

The data compiled in this report lead to three broad conclusions:

First, the findings of the research show that corporate human rights abuse can have a significant impact on businesses and this impact is growing consistently.

Second, despite this evidence there is insufficient focus in the business and human rights debate on human rights risks facing companies and the implications of these risks for companies’ economic position and development, as well as on the importance and the beneficial effects of properly integrating corporate responsibility to respect human rights.

Third, the failure of companies to properly consider such risks appears to be facilitated by a narrow […] understanding of their legal responsibility, which is out of sync with growing societal expectations concerning responsible business conduct. In this respect, a more precise regulation of corporate responsibility that would lead to better prevention and mitigation of adverse human rights impact, would likely have beneficial effect for both affected people as well as for companies, which are involved with such impacts. […]

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