There is increasing pressure on businesses to take steps to ascertain, manage and account for their human rights impacts and explain how they are accomplishing this. This pressure is taking on a more obvious legal dimension, as notions of moral and ethical responsibility begin to transform into harder edged legal duties, predominantly through legislative and regulatory developments and litigation.
Around the world, our lawyers advise clients on compliance with human rights laws, as well as the principal international frameworks containing human rights requirements for businesses, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, IFC Performance Standards and the Equator Principles.
In many regions, legislation has been enacted, aimed at improving corporate reporting on human rights issues and introducing mandatory human rights due diligence. The expectation on businesses to consider their environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts is already familiar to many companies, particularly those with a prominent public profile dependent on a strong reputation. Increasingly, these corporates are under scrutiny from regulators, investors and shareholders, customers, the public and other stakeholders to demonstrate respect for human rights, and we are able to help navigate the intricacies of necessary processes and reporting mechanisms to ensure human rights impact risks are identified and mitigated.
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Key takeaways from Navigating Socio-Economic Risks Series: Managing social risks in the workplace, and human rights risks in the business and supply chain