With greater awareness of human rights atrocities around the world, investors, governments, and stakeholders increasingly expect companies to identify, prevent, and mitigate any direct or associated human rights risks or adverse impacts.
The United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Business and Human Rights, which articulate companies’ human rights responsibilities, have been incorporated into lending standards and codified through regional, national, and local legislation. This includes increasing regulatory frameworks related to modern slavery and forced labor.
To keep pace, companies must have both a broad and granular understanding of human rights impacts and related legal and reputational risks in the jurisdictions where a company operates, or has ambitions to operate. However, the capability to address these challenges often sits outside their knowledge base and comfort zone. Companies also recognize that the biggest impact is made in their supply chain. Reliance on “compliance” with local laws alone, is not sufficient to protect or build a client’s reputation, brand and license to operate.
ERM helps clients understand human rights risk, prevent or remediate negative impacts and go further to operate in a manner that respects and advances human rights, which positively contributes to their social license to operate and shareholder value. Our capabilities include:
- Human rights due diligence
- Human rights policy and strategy development
- Human rights risk, impact and salience assessment
- Modern slavery and forced labor risk assessment, planning, legislative alignment and disclosure
- Risk management, strengthening grievance mechanisms and remediation
- Supply chain risk assessment and management
- Supplier risk management embedded in broader ethical sourcing and sustainable procurement process
- Capability development and training of staff, contractors and suppliers
- Developing and strengthening company management systems
- Just transition and addressing social factors of decarbonisation
- Social and human rights impact of Climate risks (TCFD)
- Disclosures in accordance with the UNGP Reporting Framework, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, EU Taxonomy etc.
With a dedicated team of human rights specialists based in key locations around the world, our global team has expertise in managing human rights issues relevant to land rights and resettlement, child labor, modern slavery, labor and working conditions (including worker safety), Indigenous people, security, community rights, and supply chain impacts. We combine an intimate understanding of emerging international and national requirements with practical, ‘on the ground’ experience to support clients in understanding and fulfilling their human rights responsibilities. This helps protect access to capital, develop and maintain a social license to operate, and ensure regulatory compliance.