Interview: Shift's Rachel Davis emphasises that voluntary measures are only one part of a "smart mix"
"Beyond Voluntary: What it Means for States to Play an Active Role in Fostering Business Respect for Human Rights", February 2019
"The UNGPs always envisaged that mandatory measures by states – at both the national and international levels – would be part of their implementation... Yet we often hear the term "smart mix" being used to really just mean voluntary measures. That's a misreading of what the UNGPs say...A smart mix is exactly that – the right combination of mandatory, voluntary, national and international measures that is needed to effectively foster business respect for human rights in a particular context. At the national level, that is going to look different in different countries, depending on what currently exists, how effective it is in practice, and what can be done to address the gaps...Legislative and regulatory regimes need to allow companies the space to show that they genuinely tried to use leverage creatively to address a situation...Authoritatively calling out what meaningful compliance looks like, and what is merely superficial, is an important element in making such legislation effective in practice...This whole area concerning legislation as a part of a smart mix is one we’re going to be doing a lot more thinking about at Shift as the examples of mandatory human rights due diligence proliferate – and we look forward to sharing our thinking widely over the coming year."