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Rights CoLab & DLA Piper make the business case for protection of civic freedoms & support of civil society

Author: Ed Rekosh, Rights CoLab & Lamin Khadar, DLA Piper , Published on: 2 October 2018

"The Business Case for Civil Society", Sep 2018

Now more than ever, businesses have strong incentives to take seriously their responsibility to respect human rights. Human rights developments can spark stock price fluctuations, negative consumer attitudes and loud employee demands to take action... In developing their human rights policies and processes, companies have come to depend upon civic freedoms that enable civil society — citizens acting both individually and collectively — to reveal human rights impacts. Civic freedoms — including freedoms of expression, association, information and assembly — allow citizens to ask questions, express opinions, propose solutions to social problems, and press...governments to keep commitments... The “Business Case for Civil Society,” explores reasons why it is in the best interest of companies to take action in support of civil society, especially when civil society is under pressure. The report highlights eight arguments...of the business case to support civil society: [c]ivic freedoms advance economic growth [and] produce innovation, [c]ivil society reduces the cost of corruption [and] help[s] businesses to be sustainable, supporting civil society can help manage risks relating to operational costs,… enhance customer,... investor… [and] employee relationships. “The Business Case for Civil Society” is a contribution to a collective research effort on behalf of the Business Network for Human Rights Defenders and Civic Freedoms...

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