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15 December Dec 2014 1858 15 December 2014

Business and human rights: a challenge for enterprises?

The paper “Business and human rights: a challenge for enterprises?” is the result of an investigation by the AVSI Foundation and a group of researchers and scholars of the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’. The paper was presented at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a workshop organized by the Italian Interministerial Committee for Human Rights.

Read the paper "Business and Human Rights"
Read the news on Business & HR Resource Centre website

AVSI presented its experience on human rights at the EU-Brazil Civil Society Forum and at the EU-Brazil Seminar on Business and Human Rights held on December 15th and 16th. The two meetings took place in Brasilia, in the framework of the first Business and Human Rights Seminar aimed at collecting the most significant Brazilian experiences in the human rights sector, with the presence of Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

AVSI Foundation presented the first comprehensive document published in Italian on human rights. “The question on the possibility of reconciling business with the respect for human rights has become more and more urgent – wrote AVSI Foundation president Alberto Piatti in the paper’s foreword - The cooperation with business is in the AVSI non-profit DNA. Its history, indeed, is grounded on experiences of collaboration with main Italian and multinational companies in Africa, Eastern Europe and South America.

By providing all stakeholders (in particular the entrepreneurs) with a useful tool, for the due diligence the survey highlights and in-depth illustrates the challenges represented by the protection and the promotion of human rights in their overall perspective.

A group of researchers and experts of the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ has been studying the subject ‘Business and Human Rights’. Following the adoption in 2008 of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Business and Human Rights Prof. John Ruggie’s ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework, followed in 2011 by the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’, the AVSI Foundation has focused its attention on the subject by creating the ‘Expert Group on Business and Human Rights’.
In the light of the two documents approved by the UN Council for Human Rights, the Group is committed to contribute to the current debate on the subject, in particular addressing Italian enterprises in view of alerting and helping them throughout the laborious process of human rights compliance. Indeed, it is increasingly urgent and necessary to inform small and large-sized enterprises about the contents of their responsibility and the growing and insidious risks deriving from human rights violations, such as the occurrence of serious economic and reputational damages.
The research work, based on the identification and analysis of more than 300 cases involving human rights violations by enterprises and financial institutions at global level (presently included in a database), led to the elaboration of the first comprehensive document published in Italian on that subject.
AVSI is also part of CIDU, Italian Inter-ministerial Committee on Human Rights, which aims to stimulate awareness of the competent national authorities for the adjustment of the commitments made at the international level.

AVSI and Mazars at #EDD15. Business and human rights: from principles to practice

AVSI Foundation and Mazars, international professional services firm, organized a lab at European Development Days 2015 in Brussels, Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation. The lab was the presentation of the first uniquely practical tools to help companies meet the regulatory imperative for more and better human rights reporting.

AVSI has develop an innovative tool to enable companies to begin reporting on their human rights performance, regardless of size or how far they have progressed in implementing their responsibility to respect human rights.
Download the document "From principles to practice" Read about AVSI at EDD15