INDIA CEO FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, February 13, 2012

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The India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights is a two year initiative that will exist to advance human rights in a business context among Indian industry at home and abroad, and so establish India as a global leader in this critical and valuable area of responsible business. Such leadership will, I believe, increase our competitive edge globally and strengthen the relationship between corporations and the most vulnerable and marginalized here in India. The objective is to create Indian enterprises and markets that are based firmly on respect and true dignity for all – a bold but necessary vision if we are to fully
realize our country’s potential.

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INDIA CEO FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, February 13, 2012

  1. 1. EVENT REPORT INDIA CEO FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS 13th February 2012 New Delhi, Indiay The India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights is a two- year initiative that will exist to advance human rights in a business context among Indian industry at home and abroad, and so establish India as a global leader in this critical andg valuable area of responsible business. Such leadership will, I believe, increase our competitive edge globally and strengthen the relationship between corporations and the most vulnerable and marginalized here in India. The objective is to create Indian enterprises and markets that are based firmly on respect and true dignity for all – a bold but necessary vision if we are to fullyg y f y f f y realize our country’s potential. Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Chair of the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights
  2. 2. “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.”would suffice to solve most of the world s problems. Mahatma Gandhi “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, l h l d ll h h bclose to home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” Eleanor Roosevelt “What moves us is not the realization that the world falls short of beingWhat moves us is not the realization that the world falls short of being completely just – which few of us expect - but that there are clearly remediable injustices around us which we want to eliminate.” Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen .
  3. 3. CONTENTS Letter from Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy 1 iExecutive Summary 2 Event Quotes 4 Participant Ideas and Thoughts 8p g CEO Forum Work Plan Overview 10 Core Advisory Group and Conveners 12 CEO Briefing 13
  4. 4. LETTER FROM MR. N. R. NARAYANA MURTHY Dear Colleague, Thank you very much for joining me at the first meeting of the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Delhi on February 13 2012 The event report is attached for your perusal IHuman Rights, held in Delhi on February 13, 2012. The event report is attached for your perusal. I look forward to your active participation and support to take the agenda forward. As mentioned in the report, the CEOs of Coca-Cola India., General Electric India, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Infosys Limited., Jindal Stainless Limited, Mahindra and Mahindra, ONGC, Petronet-LNG and SAIL have already committed to the Forum as members of the Core Advisory Group. I now seek your commitment to the Forum as a member. I would appreciate if you may kindly confirm hyour acceptance by 30th May 2012. The participating CEOs will commit to a two year plan including the following : 1. Committing to progress action in relation to human rights inside their business. In order to do this, CEOs will allocate two director-level individuals from different functions in their company to participate in a working-level group meetings to be held in June and November this year.p p g g p g y There will also be on going processes to support all companies to : • Build internal policy commitments to respect human rights • Ensure that key individuals participate and certify in a business and human rights training • Assess their human rights performance against established international and national frameworks/indicators 2 Participating in a policy dialogue on Friday14th December 2012 to commemorate2. Participating in a policy dialogue on Friday14 December 2012 to commemorate International Human Rights Day. This will involve reviewing the progress/learning from the above mentioned activity, share learning with CEOs not in the Forum, and engage with policy and thought leaders from across India. The GCN office will be happy to provide you any further information that you want to have or clarify any questions. Please confirm by 30th May 2012 with a copy to ceoforum.gcn@gmail.com I look forward to receiving your acceptance. Best regards. N. R. Narayana Murthy Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Limited Chair, India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights 1
  5. 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The half day event on February 13th 2012 brought together CEOs and senior leaders from 40The half-day event on February 13th 2012, brought together CEOs and senior leaders from 40 corporations including Public Sector Undertakings, Private Indian business and MNCs operating in India. The event was chaired by Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys and Chair of the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. The objectives of the meeting were stated as followed by Brigadier Rajiv Williams, Corporate Head CSR Jindal Stainless Limited and Convener Human Rights Committee GCN India - ToHead CSR, Jindal Stainless Limited and Convener, Human Rights Committee, GCN India - To have a frank and safe dialogue regarding Human Rights Risks, Responsibilities and Opportunities facing Indian business leaders, and to build commitment to a two-year India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. Brigadier Williams also mentioned that at the centre of the CEO Forum conception are key developments including the United Nations Global Compact principles and the United Nations Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework and Guiding Principles, and at a national level the National voluntary Guideline on Social,Guiding Principles, and at a national level, the National voluntary Guideline on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The event benefited from inputs from the following international and national experts and business leaders: Mr. Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman, ONGC and President, GCN; Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys; Mr Arun Maira, Membery y, , y ; , Planning Commission, Government of India; Mr. Salil Tripathi, Director of Policy, Institute for Human Rights and Business; Ms. Chitralekha Massey, Deputy Director Human Rights, UN Mission in Iraq; Mr. Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India & SWA, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co- Chairman Infosys Limited. The main discussions were moderated by Mr. Mark Hodge, Executive Director, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights. The following topics were discussed at the event. • The ebb in trust of all institutions by society at large and the need for business to re build the relationship with communities based on mutual listening not through legal contracts and P.R efforts where companies have resources and others do not. • The importance of action by all institutions when addressing the problem of negative impacts of industry on business. In particular, government must be part of the dialogue and included in the forum. • Developing a basic understanding of human rights where the key underlying term is human dignity, where human rights have a rich history in India, where 3 key international instruments define human rights in civil, political, economic, cultural and social spheres, where norms are only enacted with international consensus, where governments have the primary duties and companies now have an internationally recognized corporate responsibility to respect human rights. 2
  6. 6. • Business should care about human rights for many reasons because it is the right thing to do; for legal, reputation, operational, litigation risk reasons and because multiple stakeholders are asking for them to do so. • All industries impact human rights not just extractives and apparel. For example, internet companies in relation to privacy; hotels and hospitality companies that involve use of natural resources and migrant labour; pharmaceutical companies in relation to access to medicine and product testing; private security firms involved in conflict affected areas, and many more. • In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, businesses have started to build policies and management systems to address human rights issues. At the centre of this companies should “know and show” how they impact human rights in their own operations and in the context of their business relationships. Following a presentation from Mrs. Shubha Sekhar, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company and Representative, HRSC, The participants agreed a vision and forward plan for l hi h I di CEO F B i d H Ri h M i i i l dlaunching the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. Many participants articulated the need for the CEO Forum to be more than a “talking shop” and that members should all be accountable to each other for taking concrete actions and cannot simply sign up and not progress their commitment and action in relation to human rights. The concrete actions of the CEO Forum, between May 1st 2012 and May 1st 2014 would includeinclude: • Participating companies accelerating their human rights journey through establishing a policy commitment to respect human rights; ensuring key functions participate in relevant training; developing case studies demonstrating “knowing and showing” regarding human rights impacts (especially on major human rights challenges like land, water, migrant workers supply chain and non discrimination) and assessing/reporting on progress usingworkers, supply chain, and non-discrimination) and assessing/reporting on progress using existing frameworks and guidance. • In depth policy dialogue through CEOs meeting with national and international policy leaders and stakeholders on International Human Rights Day 2012 and 2013 to share practices and establish the role of other actors – in particular the government – in addressing systemic challenges. • Collaboration with leading national and international organizations to ensure CEO ForumCollaboration with leading national and international organizations to ensure CEO Forum access to world-class expertise and good business practices globally. By way of next steps, the CEO Forum Core Advisory Group and Human Rights Sub Committee, GCN India under the leadership of the Chair, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys finalize the work plan, a detailed operational plan and seek commitment from 30 CEOs to join the Forum. A call for commitment to CEOs may be sent bycommitment from 30 CEOs to join the Forum. A call for commitment to CEOs may be sent by 30th May 2012. The event ended with a vote of thanks from Mr. Pooran C. Pandey, Executive Director, Global Compact Network India. 3
  7. 7. I have realized that leadership is not just a word but it is the result of a series of actions we take. We should identify areas where we can act regarding the impact of our own companies on human rights. We should identify what the power of collective action can achieve on some of the major areas we all face in our value chain that such as genuine engagement with local communities; hiring and training practices to offer opportunities to all; new business models that help to realize the right to health, education, and housing; technical innovation to avoid infringing the right to water; considered and patient ways to partner with communities when their land is acquired; capacity building for our SMEs and even with the informal economy and of course more than this. We must also recognize that business needs government leadership in these areas. Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys . and Chair of the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. When we look at our 2020 vision globally, on the people platform we have very specific commitments and targets. We have three relevant written statements, policies and guide lines - one called the human rights statement, one which covers work place rights, policies and practices and th thi d hi h i th li idi i i l S t C C lthe third which is the supplier guiding principles. So, at Coca Cola, we say that not only is human rights important for us within the company but also within our bottling partners, bottling companies, distributor systems and our suppliers. So if you want to supply to our network globally you have to follow our guiding principles and these have been built on the human rights statement. We also have audits, are piloting 5 human rights due diligence checks and we have found lot of areas where there is roomdue diligence checks, and we have found lot of areas where there is room for improvement. So I think the idea is to get on to the journey, build a due diligence framework, then a grievance and remedy framework and over the time work with this system to ensure that there is compliance and respect for human rights. Mr. Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India & SWAMr. Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca Cola India & SWA The connect between Human Rights and Business practice in India needs to be understood and much effort will have to be invested into dispelling regular notions, clearly articulating risk issues that should find space in corporate risk registers and preparing a roster of red flags. In addition we have to demonstrate through case studies how these practices will helpg p p us in opening up new business opportunities. Mr. Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman, ONGC and President, GCN 4
  8. 8. The greatest vehicle for the movement to grow capitalisms is the limited liability corporation, an invention created by man that did not exists 300 years ago. We created this to have economic progressy g p g happen, to support risk in which there is limited liability for investors. Another movement that has gathered much more strength recently, is this movement about citizen’s rights. Yes, since the time of Magna Carta it was growing but in the last 20 years this has exploded. The consciousness that all human beings have equal rights and a variety of rights has been expressed in the Universal Declaration of Humanf g p f Rights and elsewhere. So, we have these ideas that came through these two movements but how shall we, as leaders, put them both into effect. Corporations have rights of course, legal rights, but they are able to defend their rights against others. But others don’t have lawyers and money to defend their own rights. This is the challenge society is facing. Mr. Arun Maira, Member Planning Commission, Government of India. An experience that I have shared across many countries (Uganda, Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Nepal, in Iraq), is working very closely with security forces. I come from an army background, where my father and my brother are from the Army. In spite of having a good relationship, a good start and being accepted as an insider with them, very often I am accosted with questions where an officer will ask: What is this about human rights? What is this nonsense? Do you guys have any idea of the reality on the ground? Are you saying it is our duty to fulfill everyone’s rights? How can you walk in here and say you have to do, a, b, and c? Your report is rubbish and your expectation is unrealistic. This is very interesting and I think it is very often the case that either people do not understand what human right is all about, or do not have a clear understanding how the bli ti t t t d t h i ht k Thi ld bobligation to protect and promote human rights works. This could be a very long discussion and I am sure hopefully we can take up on some other forum, and another stage. But for me if human rights must be summarized into one term than for me that is “human dignity”. When expressed in this way, human rights are more easily adopted by security forces and others new to the agenda. I am sure it is the same for business leaders toois the same for business leaders too. Ms. Chitralekha Massey, Deputy Director Human Rights, UN Mission in Iraq 5
  9. 9. It does go back very very far in terms of people’s collective memories of what companies have done. In India we have the East India Company and Union Carbide, and more recently land issues involving mining companies or child labor in various sectors . But we also need to look at other sectors and at other countries where Indian companies are involved - such as sourcing diamonds in the conflict zones of Africa; oil companies in Sudan, Colombia, Nigeria; the treatment of workers in the timber industry in Indonesia and Liberia; plantation, apparel and hospitality companies in South East Asia, and i i l i f ti t h l i d h d th d lincreasingly information technology companies and how do they deal with both lawful intercept request on one hand and censorship issues on the other. Mr. Salil Tripathi, Director of Policy, Institute for Human Rights and Business We have to look at how we can build trust in business as whole, how we can build trust in government, as a whole, how we can build trust in all institutions as a whole - this requires us to scale implementation and this requires us to look at the policy and the legal frameworks that impact people’s rights. So as a group, we have to make sure we include within our own CEO forum all the key industry association andinclude within our own CEO forum all the key industry association and their representatives. We also have to make this forum about participating in the creation of policies frameworks.. New regulation is going to be created, and will probably swing in the direction of more stricter regulation at one time and other times in the direction of less regulation, and this is a continuous process. We have to figure out how we play a constructive part of modifying the policies,p y p f fy g p , implementing them in our own organizations, making sure that it gets implemented across our value chains and by government. Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co – Chairman, Infosys Limited Human rights is increasingly seen as the central framework to guide business towards social sustainability both at the international level as we see in the United Nations Global Compact principles and the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy framework and Guiding Principles. At the local level we now have the National Voluntary Guideline on Social, Environment and Economic Responsibilities of Business which include a human rights principle and human rights components throughout. Brigadier Rajiv Williams, Corporate Head CSR , Jindal Stainless Limited6
  10. 10. When you want to get into a new partnership in business, you don’t send in lawyers and ask the partner to send their lawyer to form what the contract between us shall be but unfortunately we tend to do that quite a bit, and that is what is wrong when we go into a community or engage with a stakeholder group - it is our lawyers and or the P.R. people who are talking it is not me or us. We have got to go ourselves and listen and listen, not tell and listen and then we shall discover what matters to people, and with that if we are leaders we shall reshape ourselves to deliver the value that is expected. Mr. Arun Maira, Member Planning Commission, Government of India. Underlying many Business and Human Rights incidents is the issue of states being unwilling or unable to meet their human rights bli i h i l illi ( h h dobligations to their people. Unwilling states (whether a predatory state, a state at war) or a state that does not have resources to do what is necessary are common features of globalization. And this unwillingness and inability applies both at the home and host State. This is important because if you look at civil society internet clutter about Indian business and human rights, one example conversation is b t th i iti f l d b I di C i i Ethi i dabout the acquisition of land by Indian Companies in Ethiopia and what it does to people in Ethiopia for their own food security needs. This is a host state allowing and even encouraging Indian firms to take actions that some feel is undermining human rights. Mr. Salil Tripathi, Director of Policy, Institute for Human Rights and BusinessInstitute for Human Rights and Business One of the targets for members of the CEO Forum in the first year is to build internal policy commitment to respect human rights and to communicate that commitment publicly. As you all know from your past experience, a policy commitment is not only a statement on paper It requires the appropriate substance to be tailored to thepaper. It requires the appropriate substance to be tailored to the company culture and industry circumstances, legal departmental review, communication to key internal functions, governance oversight, allocation of responsibilities and implementation plans. In other words, it must be embedded into the company and the way they do regular business. Mrs. Shubha Sekhar, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company and Representative, HRSC 7
  11. 11. PARTICIPANT IDEAS AND ISSUES As a group of businesses people together will you have the courage to tell someone else in business not to do something or to start doing something? I find it really troubling that business often says “that is not our job that is the job of government”. The rules will be same for everybody, whether you are very good person or not. What does the brand of the CEO Forum mean, and should we allowp f , people to claim that they are members and not act? Or are you going to say – this is the purpose of the forum, this is the benefit that companies can expect to get from the forum, and there will not be any free riders? In terms of tie-ups there are a number of national institutions and organizations h h i i d b h i l di ithat, at the appropriate time and may be once the internal dimensions are complete, would add great value to this forum. There may be national Human Rights institutions, there may be UN Organizations, there may be international and national networks in NGOs, who I think when you come to actual work plan areas, can bring very very substantial partnership to the Forum. Maybe the group would like to do a sort of a due diligence exercise with these organizations? How can targeted and appropriate future partnerships be formed?can targeted and appropriate future partnerships be formed? I really worry about how we do the harmonization because harmonization could mean the same thing done in the same way, everywhere in which case this is harmony in terms of the global rules. But those rules may not be in harmony with many local situations, so how are we going to go about ensuring when we talk about the dignity of the people we are doing so in respect to their needs and well- being from day to day? So, what are the principals or rules that members of the CEO Forum sign up for? One element I liked in the presentation was the “CEO gets CEO” scheme, which in marketing we refer to as “customer gets customers”. In a way, business CEOs are customers of our forum and our effectiveness in spreading the message will depend upon how many we can reach out to our colleagues. The question I have is this how big we want this forum to be, if each one of us thinks that we will get two and perhaps we will expect them to get two what is the size we will have that is the natural worry which I will be having in mind when considering effectiveness and accountability. 8
  12. 12. As long as this remains a CEO forum two years there is always a risks that it starts off as a CEO led initiative and then slowly gets delegated down the line andoff as a CEO-led initiative and then slowly gets delegated down the line and people get nominated. We have seen other forums when the original vision was for strong involvement of CEOs and the distinct leadership and mindset they bring fall away. And so the vision and purpose changes. How can we continue to excite the involvement of individual CEO members and not just to see that two years later is delegated to the CSR persons who is actually operating with no real involvement with more than reporting to the CEO? . The risk that to avoid is people signing on but that not reflecting real commitment or action within their organization and therefore this whole ‘know and show’ - what is this evidence that you are delivering on this - becomes ignored. I wonder involvement with, more than reporting to, the CEO? if there is a need for us to also have a mechanism to establish whether the member companies do comply with the minimum standards that we have established for ourselves and so it is not an easy membership. I wonder that whether there is a part of the work plan that you have articulated which will help us understand that what is coming in the way, what are the barriers, and how can we make the things for the other people more compelling? I think in today’s world the down side risk of not complying are becoming more and more significant with technology and other matters. But I don’t think the positive cases for doing this properly is well understood or commonly appreciated. What could we do as a group, to not just make people more aware I do think, that if you want to be a part of this group than you must undertake to do the things in the work plan (and ideally more), and you also must accept a certain mechanism for trust and verify. Verification could be an internal check. I of human rights but to make it a more compelling case for people so they feel, frankly, that they don’t have a choice? am not saying that the verification would be an external one. But, somebody in the company will have to say that yes we are indeed doing all these things that we are claiming to do. So therefore, ideally I hope that we will get a day when every corporation in the country will fully subscribe but they should fulfill all these obligations and they must have a mechanism to “Know and Show”. 9
  13. 13. CEO FORUM WORK PLAN Activity One: Participating companies reviewing and discussing their policies, practices, challenges and dilemmas regarding respect for human rights in their operations and their value chains. Output – trends and good practices report Activity Two: Input into policy developments such as the MCA Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Business and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights including how to mainstream them in Indian industry. Apr 2012 Dec 2012 Output – policy and practice recommendations and commitments Apr 2013 Dec 2013Apr. 2012 Dec. 2012 Working-level Meeting* ♯ 1 Working-level Meeting ♯ 2 Apr. 2013 Dec. 2013 Working-level Meeting ♯ 3 Working-level Meeting ♯ 4 International Human Rights Day 2012 (10th December) CEO Policy Dialogue International Human Rights Day 2013 (10th December) CEO Policy DialogueCEO Policy Dialogue with national leaders from government and civil society * Working-level meetings will be supported by individual and collective action between CEO Policy Dialogue with global leaders from government and civil society Working level meetings will be supported by individual and collective action between meetings. These meetings will be attended by individuals nominated by CEOs. 310
  14. 14. CEO FORUM WORK PLAN, 2012/13 11
  15. 15. CORE ADVISORY GROUP AND GCN HUMAN RIGHTS SUB-COMMITTEE The following business leaders are committed to be part of the CEO Forum as part of the Core Advisory Group and join in the call for a wider community of peers to join this important initiative. •Mr Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India & SWA •Mr John Flannery, President & CEO, GE India •Mr Nitin Paranjpe, CEO and Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd •Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys Limited •Mrs. Deepikaa Jindal, MD arttd’inox, Jindal Stainless Limited •Mr Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra, g g , •Mr S Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director, ONGC •Dr A K Balyan, MD and CEO, Petronet-LNG •Mr C S Verma, Chairman, SAIL The CEO Forum will be served and supported by the GCN India Office and the members of the GCN Human Rights Sub-Committee •Brig. Rajiv Williams Corporate Head CSR, Jindal Stainless Limited •Mrs. Beroz Gazdar, Vice President, Mahindra and Mahindra Limited •Ashok Bharti, Chair, NACDOR •Mr J S Kochher, Joint Secretary, National Human Rights Commission •Dr Alka Mittal, DGM, Human Resources, ONGC •Mr Mahesh Patil, General Manager, Sesa Goa Ltdg •Mr B K Thakur, DGM, Steel Authority of India •Dr Joy Deshmukh, Global Head, CSR, Tata Consultancy Services •Ms Shubha Sekhar, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company •Mr Mark Hodge, Executive Director, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights Strong acknowledgement and special appreciation is given to India; Ms. Rubina Sen, Ms. Shabnam Siddiqui, Ms Krittika Bhatt, Ms. Chitra Nair and Mr. Romeo Francis of the GlobalShabnam Siddiqui, Ms Krittika Bhatt, Ms. Chitra Nair and Mr. Romeo Francis of the Global Compact Network India; Pritika Chand, CSR department, Jindal Stainless Limited Network Fountainhead Solutions PVT. Limited and Event Solutions PVT. Limited for coordinating all efforts to date regarding the India CEO Forum on Business and Human Rights. *Lists appear in alphabetical order based on company name. 312
  16. 16. CEO BRIEFING ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS FIVE KEY MESSAGESFIVE KEY MESSAGES ONE Expectations from policy makers, civil society and investors regarding corporate impact on human rights are rapidly converging On June 17th 2011, the United Nations took an unprecedented step to endorse the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights developed by the former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights (Professor John Ruggie). The Indian Government has been a strong supporter of the Business and Human Rights agenda – hosting Professor Ruggie’s Asiag pp g g g gg Consultation in February 2009 and recently sponsoring a UN Resolution to progress the international agenda. A new UN Working Group has now been formed to focus on implementation of the Guiding Principles. Internationally, the Guiding Principles have already been incorporated into important responsible business efforts such as the OECD Guidelines for Multi-national Enterprises, the European Commission CSR strategy and IS0 26000 (the most universally approved CSR standard alongside the Global Compact). Just before the UN Guiding Principles were endorsed, 29 institutional investors with US$ 2.7 trillion under management supported the principles and are now developing an Investors’ guide for Business and Human Rights. From the Indian perspective, we are also seeing serious developments. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recently launched National Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Business, in which Principle 5 (of 9) guides businesses to “respect and promote human rights” and makes explicit reference to the work of Prof. Ruggie and the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” Framework. TWO Many major corporations now see the clear, long-term business case for respecting human rights and knowing and showing how they do so This is often an accumulation of a range of Business and human rights is a core business issue with costs for getting it wrong, and benefits for getting it right rights and knowing and showing how they do so. This is often an accumulation of a range of factors including: 13
  17. 17. Reputational Risk Management - Mismanagement of human rights issues can tarnish a reputation for many years and harm business operations. Reputational damage can make it harder to attract customers, secure the necessary investment for growth, attract and retain the best and most committed employees or enter into business partnershipsbest and most committed employees or enter into business partnerships. Pressure from Government - National governments can play a key role in encouraging businesses to act on human rights. An increasing number of countries around the world have launched national initiatives on corporate responsibility to encourage excellence among their own industries and through this encourage responsible outward and inward investment. Companies not respecting human rights can have a negative effect upon both home and hostCompanies not respecting human rights can have a negative effect upon both home and host country reputation and can undermine their ability to trade freely. Operational Risk– Social Licence to Operate - It is hard for any business to operate against the will of a local population. While the permission of a national government is needed to trade, local authority permission or community approval is also necessary even if not a legal requirement. A social licence to operate is not a written document, but without it a companyq p , p y may face anything from demonstrations outside its gates to a material loss in trade. Legal and Financial Risk - Although human rights law and its relationship to business is still evolving, it is increasingly used in both criminal cases (against companies as well as individual employees) and civil cases (such as compensation claims from workers or customers). The risk of being found guilty of not respecting human rights or being complicit in an abuse perpetrated by others is now a reality in many parts of the world. Pressure from Investors - Many institutional investors now actively screen for allegations of human rights abuses by a company they are considering for investment. This is also the case for the major public lending institutions, stock exchanges and major private banks. Meeting Expectations of Buyers or Customers - Few companies can prosper whilst knowingly abusing human rights. Customers expect companies to respect human rights and avoid involvement in any such abuses. Increasingly, such stakeholders expect not just minimum compliance but evidence of positive behaviour. Staff Retention and Motivation - The best companies attract and keep the best employees, and good employees contribute to success. A relationship built on respect for human dignity is likely to be more sustainable and productive for both employer and employee. Leadership - Ethical leadership is a key element of sustainable success in business. A corporate governance framework which takes account of human rights sets the tone for business behaviour, contributes to the success of the company and helps meet stakeholder expectations. 11 14
  18. 18. THREE Human rights can be understood as an attempt by citizens and leaders around the world to codify our notions of dignity, respect and equality T Human rights are the basic rights of each human being, independent of race, sex, religion, political opinion, social status, or any other characteristic. Through international human rights conventions, governments commit to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of their citizens. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the foundational document for y g y, p q y their citizens. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the foundational document for understanding human rights and is provided as an annex to this document. Businesses should also be aware of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In addition, a specific body of law applies in situations of armed conflicts: international humanitarian law. Examples of internationally agreed human rights that companies can impact can be understood in two categories as follows: Labour Rights such as Freedom of association, Right to equal pay for equal work, Right to organize and participate in collective bargaining, Right to non-discrimination, Right to just and favorable remuneration, Abolition of slavery and forced labour, Right to a safe work environment, Right to rest and leisure, Right to work and Right to family life . Non-labour Rights such as Right to life, liberty and security of the person, Right of peaceful assembly; Right to an adequate standard of living (including food, clothing, and housing); Right to physical and mental health; Access to medical services; Equal recognition and protection under the law; Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; Right to education; Right to hold opinions, freedom of information and expression; Right to participate in cultural life; Freedom of movement and Right to privacy . OUR Businesses are not solely responsible for the human rights impacts of d l k FO economic activity – government and civil society are key actors too Government's have a duty to Respect, Protect, Promote and Fulfil Human Rights. These terms are used in connection with state obligations in accordance with the human rights instruments they have committed to. As an overview, promote is about ensuring awareness of the right; respect means to not violate a right; protect means to ensure that others (e.g. companies, individuals, etc.) do not violate a right; and fulfil means to actually implement the right, for 15
  19. 19. example by providing healthcare facilities to fulfil the right to health. From this, it is clear that States have a Duty to Protect against human rights violations by business and may engage in promotional awareness raising activities also. There is now a recognized corporate responsibility to respect human rights which applies to business actors. Governments unanimously affirmed the existence of this responsibility at the United Nations in 2008 and the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN SRSG Professor John Ruggie’s Guiding Principles in 2011. The responsibility to respect essentially means not to infringe upon the rights of others and to address adverse impacts when they occur. Companies can take steps to meet their responsibility to respect human rights byoccur. Companies can take steps to meet their responsibility to respect human rights by carrying out human rights due diligence. Additionally, companies should have in place a statement or policy articulating the company’s commitment to respect human rights. VE Businesses are simply expected to “know and show” through due FIV No company sets out to abuse human rights. No CEO, director, manager, employee, supplier or business partner wants to have a negative effect on the lives of people their enterprise depends on and most companies are probably correct to presume that they do respect human p y p g diligence how they manage their human rights impacts depends on and most companies are probably correct to presume that they do respect human rights. The paradigm shift underlying efforts by world-class business and embedded in the UN Guiding Principles is to the importance of “knowing and showing” (not just claiming and assuming) that the company respects human rights in its own operations and value chain. Therefore, businesses should approach the human rights impacts of their operations, products and services in the same way they manage other areas of the business – systematically, on any y g y y, ongoing basis, engaging the correct internal and external expertise, tracking effectiveness and accounting for their actions to relevant parties. The United Nations Guiding Principles endorse this policy, process and procedural approach by business to respecting human rights and articulate that. In order to meet their responsibility to respect human rights, business enterprises should have in place policies and processes appropriate to their size and circumstances, including: a) A policy commitment to meet their responsibility to respect human rights; b) A human rights due-diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their impacts on human rights; c) Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts they cause or to which they contribute. 16
  20. 20. For more information please contact Mr. Pooran C. Pandey, Executive Director, Global Compact Network, India. gcnindia@gmail.com. The 13th February 2012 opening event has kindly been sponsored by the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)

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