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WEF 2018 will highlight the importance of businesses in addressing threats to civic rights

Author: Annabel Lee Hogg, Governance and Transparency (UK), Published on: 25 January 2018

"It’s Time for Business to Act on Threats to Civic Rights", January 2018

Business leaders... are set to gather in Davos at the World Economic Forum’s annual session... and create dialogue around the theme: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”...Increased restricted freedoms and government control help undermine economic and social stability. Globally, these threats to civic rights are growing with CIVICUS referring to the current climate as a Global Civic Space Emergency...The erosion of freedoms of speech, assembly, association and access to information is a concerning global trend...To reduce corruption, enable fair and open market structures and ensure governments act in the long-term interest of their constituents, we need space that allows citizens to discuss the implications of government actions and speak out when they see injustice...Businesses with a focus on long-term sustainability also have an inherent interest in maintaining open and free societies...[P]rivate sector champions can help shift perceptions of civil society groups as anti-patriotic or anti-economic growth...It’s time to invest in new relationships and pilot new forms of collaboration to tackle this important issue. It’s time to make business a countervailing force against those seeking to silence citizens.

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Related companies: Unilever