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Moving from reactive to proactive


The first step of human rights due diligence is assessing how the company’s operations and business relationships can pose risks to human rights. This means considering the negative human rights impacts that the company’s current or planned activities could have on individuals and communities. It also means considering negative impacts that could arise through any of a company’s business relationships in its value chain, such as suppliers, contractors, joint venture partners or business customers. The process should include both actual impacts that have happened as well as potential impacts – or what are often called “human rights risks.” Assessing impacts can be a challenging process. Identifying the company’s “salient” (or leading) human rights issues can provide a focus for the company’s efforts based on an evaluation of where the risks of harm to people may be most severe.

Learn more: see all our resource library listings below, as well as specific sections from these comprehensive resources:

Reporting et Droits de l'Homme en France (pt 2)

December 2019 | Michelle Langlois

Au cours de la phase 1 de cette étude, Shift a analysé le reporting en matière de droits de l'homme des 20 plus grandes entreprises françaises de 2017 et début 2018, avant que les entreprises ne soient tenues de se conformer à la loi sur le devoir de vigilance. Dans cette deuxième phase, nous examinons leurs premiers plans de vigilance et leurs rapports de mise en œuvre de 2018 et 2019.

Human Rights Reporting in France. Two Years In: Has the Duty of Vigilance Law led to more Meaningful Disclosure?

November 2019 | Michelle Langlois

This two-part study aims to uncover whether the French Duty of Vigilance Law, which imposes mandatory human rights due diligence and reporting, would have any influence on the maturity of the companies’ public disclosure, as measured against the expectations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

Human Rights Reporting in France

September 2018 | Michelle Langlois

For 3 years, Shift’s Reporting Program has mapped and analyzed the human rights disclosure of over 130 companies around the world. In this special report, we are bringing the spotlight to France, where we have analyzed and dissected the reporting of the top 20 companies listed on the CAC 40 index (by market cap). The purpose of this two-part report is to evaluate the extent to which the new French legislation brings companies closer to the reporting expectations that were set by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Webinar: Integrating Human Rights Considerations Into Mergers and Acquisitions

April 2016 | Shift, UN Global Compact

This webinar, hosted by the UN Global Compact, provides an overview and discussion of how human rights can and should be considered in mergers and acquisitions processes. It features speakers from Shift, Total and Ericsson.

Video: Introduction to Salient Human Rights Issues

February 2016 | Shift and Mazars; UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework

What are salient human rights issues and why do they matter? This short video introduces the concept and explains how companies should focus on salient issues for both action and reporting.

What Do Human Rights Have to Do With Mergers and Acquisitions?

January 2016 | Anna Triponel, Shift

This resource provides guidance on how companies can identify and address human rights risks when structuring mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions.

Corporate Contradictions

September 2015 | Caroline Rees

How companies can avoid four stumbling blocks on the path to respect for human rights.

Human Rights Due Diligence in High Risk Circumstances

March 2015 | Shift

This resource focuses on how to do human rights due diligence in high risk circumstances – and how to identify those circumstances in the first place.

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