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Report says one firm out of five faces allegations of human rights violations

Sep 07, 2012

What are companies doing regarding human rights is a question many ponder upon. A new report by Vigeo analyses 1500 companies to see how companies respect human rights where business is concerned.

This recent study, based on Vigeo’s ratings, analyses the behaviour of nearly 1500 North American, European, and Asian listed companies regarding the respect for human rights between 2009 and 2012, and reveals interesting findings.

An analysis of the report showed, respect for human rights is now part of most corporate companies’ public discourse. The commitments they take are becoming more and more visible and relevant, as companies show their will to support principles and goals of international conventions announced by the UN, the ILO and the OECD. However, the implementation of commitments, notably the ability to report on processes dedicated to protection of human rights and prevention of violations’ risks remains modest and often criticised. One company out of five (21.5 per cent) had to face at least one allegation of violation of one or several human rights during the past three years. The analysis highlights that freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are the fundamental rights least addressed by companies. 

However, there are advanced practices in the human rights framework. The most committed companies are not only able to implement strong risk prevention, but can also positively distinguish themselves in terms of reputation, human capital cohesion, efficiency of their organization and legal security.

Vigeo also identified, for each driver, the 30 companies that demonstrate, through their commitments and management processes, exemplary standards  and embody the most advanced performances 24 are located in Europe. 

Fouad Benseddik, Director of Methodology and  Institutional Relationships at Vigeo declares: “We note an improvement of practices among firms that were already committed in favour of human rights. There is still a long way to go for the majority of multinational companies, they must make their commitments and their action plans consistent in order to mitigate their growing risks on this subject”.

 
SOURCE: Vigeo
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