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The human rights responsibilities of business in a changing world

In this new thematic study, Vigeo Eiris explains how companies across the globe are addressing four key areas of human rights

Our new study looks at more than 3,000 companies headquartered in 35 countries and uses the rating methodology developed by Vigeo (now Vigeo Eiris). It assesses the degree to which listed companies around the globe commit and act to respect and promote, and prevent violations of, fundamental human rights , employees’ labour rights and non-discrimination at work in both their operations and their supply chain.

It lists best performers in each category of human rights, highlights good practices and demonstrates how it is crucial for companies to adopt a strategic approach to human rights, supported by clear responsibilities and managerial processes. It also underlines regional disparities and sector specifics.


Finally, our survey illustrates negative impacts for a company’s image, organisation, operations, and legal certainty in cases of human rights negligence. Indeed, more than one out of five multinationals is subject to at least one allegation or prosecution related to the respect of human rights.

Human rights are not an abstraction; they are well anchored in business reality. From a management perspective, human rights represent both material risks and a dramatic lever for improvement, which can boost corporate performance as well as the acceptability of globalisation.

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