GoodCorporation launches human rights framework

Few organisations have a specific Human Rights policy in place or a nominated individual responsible for monitoring their human rights impact, revealed the latest GoodCorporation Business Ethics debate at the House of Lords.

At the debate, only a handful of organisations admitted to conducting fact finding exercises to see what is happening on the ground or carrying out risk assessments to identify potential problems.

However, the debate revealed that the United Nations’ publication last summer of John Ruggie’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights had provided companies with a reason to evaluate their approach to Human Rights and they welcomed the impetus it had provided. Ruggie’s Principles state that businesses have a duty to respect human rights and provide a remedy should violations occur.

The debate was held to launch the GoodCorporation Human Rights Framework designed to help corporations demonstrate a responsible approach to protecting and respecting human rights throughout their organisation

The GoodCorporation Human Rights Framework will enable businesses to measure and improve the robustness of their Human Rights policies and systems, providing a blueprint for Human Rights Due Diligence.

Following the methodology of the GoodCorporation Standard, the Human Rights Framework assesses 91 policies and procedures where human rights abuses are most likely to occur. Areas covered by the framework include Forced, Bonded and Child Labour, Discrimination, Workplace Health and Safety, Conditions of Employment Security and Supply Chain Management.

Commenting on the launch of the Framework, Leo Martin, director of GoodCorporation said: “From the assessment work that we have conducted for global organisations, we know that due diligence in this area can prove particularly challenging. Our work with them has enabled us to develop a framework that will reduce the challenge and facilitate a proper assessment of their human rights position.”

“We would like to see more businesses with a human rights representative and a robust policy firmly embedded. We would also recommend an on-going due diligence programme of risk assessment and monitoring to minimise the likelihood of human rights violations and maximise the opportunity to put things right should abuses occur.”

In addition to the UN Guiding Principles the GoodCorporation Framework also draws on Human Rights Translated: A business Reference Guide, The Danish Institute of Human Rights Compliance Assessment Tool, the Women’s Empowerment Principles and The Principles on Business and Children’s Rights.

Posted March 2012

Notes to Editors:

1. Leo Martin is available for interviews, briefings or written comment

2. GoodCorporation is a leading adviser in the field of business ethics, specialising in the assessment of responsible business management and anti-corruption practices.

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