Human rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); a true landmark in human history. It protects our essential needs and freedoms. For businesses the requirement is to respect these rights, ensuring that the people who come into contact are protected. Businesses that fail to do so risk facing human rights litigation and severe reputational damage.
As businesses grow in reach, scale and complexity, it results in contact being extensive across direct as well as indirect operations. This includes not only your own employees and business relationships but also the employees and relationships of your partners, vendors and supply chains – an area where visibility is limited.
The scale and complexity of your business’s reach make it a real challenge to ensure that human rights laws are respected.
To get this right requires a considered approach.
Embedding into company culture
As the people contact points is not just with the core team but throughout the organisation’s departments and within your vendors, partners and suppliers organisations; it is essential to develop an approach that is properly embedded within your organisation. It is those employees within your organisation who are most able to uphold human rights and working practices championing your business’s commitment to them. In most cases, you would expect risk, procurement, supply chain management, training, stakeholder engagement, HR to be among the teams that champion the business’s approach to human rights due diligence.
By getting this right, your business will:
Driving change, have a well-defined process in place to develop a robust approach you should adopt a human rights due diligence process that ensures that human rights are upheld throughout your operations and supply chains. We can help you develop:
Policies and code of conducts – this will set your business’s intention whie acting as a communication tool both internally and externally
Assess where the greatest human rights impacts are – we will work with your governance as well as supply chain teams to map where the greatest human rights risks are for your business is
Plan of action – a practical plan of action will help your teams address the most significant risks to your business from auditing through to stakeholder engagement
Remediation – in the event a breach of human rights is found it is important that your business already has a remediation approach in place
Capacity building – well-trained teams that can communicate your policies and code of conducts as well as being able to identify potential risks are critical to success
Monitoring and reporting – ongoing monitoring will ensure that your business stays on top of the risks while good reporting is important to communicate what you are doing in this space
Mitigate human rights risks, make a positive impact. Find out how we can help.
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I was impressed with the thoroughness and level of detail that our data set was analysed in. Presenting an extensive data set in an easy to use format was of great value in communicating the outcome of the work internally, and prioritising areas of the supply chain for future action.
Alan Sweeting, Global Health, Safety and Environment Senior Manager, Allen & Overy LLP
Avieco supported us in collating and organising data to develop a robust risk assessment process. They have been easy to work with, responsive to our requirements and pragmatic in their solutions.
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Avieco delivered exactly the workshop we needed to get our sustainability team and regional leads on the same page when it comes to ‘market-based’ reporting. It’s a challenging area to tackle for a global business – particularly when we operate in a number of markets where there is little or no choice in terms of energy purchasing. Avieco has given us the knowledge and tools to ensure we get our disclosures right – they really exceeded my expectations for what we could achieve in one afternoon!
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