Government backing rights project

Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The Government has thrown its weight behind a project aimed at assessing and ranking the human rights records of international companies.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said the scheme, which is being supported with £80,000 start-up funding, will make it easier for investors and regulators to spot firms that are abusing human rights.

A total of 500 global firms, involved in agriculture, extractive industries, clothing and information technology, will be initially be researched and ranked.

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark project has been established by an international group led by Aviva Investors.

Ms Swinson said: “Companies’ human rights records are under increasing scrutiny. What they are doing to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our global society has a significant impact on their reputation.

“We want to create a ‘race to the top’ where companies that are taking effective action get recognition and those that are not can be held to account.

“We are throwing our weight behind this benchmarking project, which will make it easy for people to understand corporate human rights performance, see how companies fare in the rankings and enable investors and regulators to challenge those whose performance is behind those of others.

“I encourage other countries to join us in supporting the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which will be an invaluable resource to protect the rights of vulnerable people in the UK and around the world.”

Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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