Recommendations for a corporate response to operating in conflict zones

  • Start from a strategic commitment from the CEO and Board to incorporate human rights considerations into business
  • Carry out a social impact assessment which incorporates human rights criteria as part of pre-investment risk assessment
  • Conduct in-house training, develop guidelines for staff operating in conflict zones
  • Engage in dialogue and consultation with a range of stakeholders on a systematic and ongoing basis
  • Conduct screening of security forces follow guidelines listed in Section 2.3
  • Act in partnerships with other companies, NGOs, community groups and government bodies as appropriate on projects such
    as community development. Collective action is often a more realistic option for a company operating in a politically sensitive environment than risking the exposure of unilateral approaches to the government.
  • Implement mechanisms for evaluation and accountability through internal and independent monitoring, reporting, verification of compliance with human rights commitments, and commitments to stakeholders
  • Engage in dialogue with the government, possibly with other companies and stakeholders, on issues related to conflict
    prevention or resolution
  • Contribute to enabling frameworks for conflict prevention or resolution working with other companies, government bodies, civil society, academia to build frameworks to address structural challenges within the conflict situation. These can include advocacy for good governance and anti-corruption measures, innovative public-private financing mechanisms for health, education, and infrastructure projects, training for local civil society organisations.


Source: "The Business of Peace", Jane Nelson, Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum with International Alert and CEP, April 2000.  This report provides extensive analysis of the role of companies in conflict situations, and offers recommendations for corporate action in pre- and post-conflict situations as well as during periods of violent conflict.


The above material is extracted from chapter 2.2 ("Business in Conflict Zones") of: 

Human rights -- is it any of your business?  

Amnesty International UK Business Group / Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum [now International Business Leaders Forum], Apr. 2000, p. 40.

April 2000 Amnesty International UK and The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum