Human rights now a matter for businesses, say executives in new GBI backed Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report

A Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) backed report by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that a large majority of executives (83%) believe that human rights are a matter for businesses, not just for governments. Further, 71% of business leaders say that their firm’s responsibility to respect human rights goes beyond simple obedience to local laws.

The road from principle to practice: Today’s challenges for business in respecting human rights was released on 16 March 2015 at an event in London hosted by the consortium of sponsors including GBI, DLA Piper, Lilly, Mazars, Telenor Group and Universal Rights Group; and supported by: International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), IPIECA, International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Speaking on the panel at the launch event, GBI Executive Director Mark Hodge reiterated that many companies have taken steps to implement the corporate respect for human rights in practice, including GBI’s 18 member companies. Their experience has shown it’s a complex exercise but there is increasingly convergence around the steps, tools and processes companies can apply, with reference to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The EIU microsite featuring the report is available at: http://www.economistinsights.com/business-strategy/analysis/road-principles-practice

For the EIU press release on the report view (PDF): http://www.global-business-initiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/EIU-press-release.pdf