Human Rights Website Spotlights Conduct of Over 5600 Companies

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The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHR) launched its multi-lingual, re-designed website. The site shines a spotlight on the human rights conduct of over 5600 companies globally: it includes advances they are making, allegations of human rights abuse, and how they are responding to concerns.

Key new features include:
  • Full navigation and homepages in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish;
  •  “Big Issue” areas on topics ranging from information technology and human rights, to the UN Guiding Principles and calls for a binding international treaty;
  • A searchable record of over 2000 approaches to companies, inviting them to respond to allegations of human rights abuse (with a global response rate of 70%);
  • Commentary and blog posts by BHR’s global team, and easily-accessible regional and sector-specific briefing papers; and
  • An effective search so users can get quickly to what they need.

According to Executive Director Phil Bloomer, the internet is a powerful driver for change in business and human rights, and company’s respect for rights, or allegations of abuse in its most remote supply chain, are no longer secret.  He believes the new website will position them even better  to achieve their aims: transparency of companies’ human rights performance; accountability and redress for abuse in their operations and supply chains; and empowerment for advocates of human rights in business around the world.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invites companies to respond publicly to human rights concerns raised by civil society: the new website makes these concerns and responses or non-responses far more accessible and searchable.  Recent cases have involved cement firms Italcementi and Titan in Egypt; Chevron in Cambodia; and Mitsubishi in Myanmar.  The site encompasses the full range of human rights issues relating to business – from labour rights, to pollution affecting health, to displacement for industrial and resource extraction projects.

The website also provides access to examples of advances by business, and guidance materials. Among recent examples are Ericsson’s guidance paper on human rights for ICT firms, General Electric’s program training women engineers in Saudi Arabia, and commitments by firms such as H&M to ensure living wages in their supply chains. In addition to the website, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is also on Twitter and Facebook.

17 July 2014

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