Richard Karmel explains how to implement a human rights policy

Richard Karmel is responsible for Mazars’ award winning business and human rights reporting service line.

Richard and his team at Mazars advise companies on how to understand their salient human rights issues; how to manage and implement appropriate human rights policies into their wider business strategy and how to monitor their effectiveness.

To assist companies understand the importance of respecting human rights Mazars and Shift co-facilitated the creation of the UNGP Reporting Framework. Launched in February 2015, the framework provides advice and guidance on how a company can report on its human rights performance in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Human Rights. One of the first stages for companies is to understand the importance of not just having a human rights policy but effectively implementing it.

In order to fully explain this Richard has produced a high level video webinar on how companies can implement a human rights policy.

The video is available to view via his YouTube channel by clicking on the below image.

How to implement a Human Rights Policy

Watch Richard's latest YouTube video

Read on for a summary of Richard’s expert advice.

“If a company is serious about implementing a human rights policy then tone at the top is of paramount importance. If the C-suite of a company aren’t bought into the idea, then the company may as well forget about it.

“Respect for human rights should be part of a company’s core strategy, not something that is just nice to have. It can be seen as being part and parcel of delivering the company’s wider strategy. This is because it requires engagement with investors, customers, workers and the communities that the company operates in.

“For companies to understand the importance there needs to be some form of education for the main board. For example, a company likes Mazars needs to meet with the board members of a company and go through a module of what human rights means to them.

“They need to understand the potential risks to their business that a severe negative human rights impact could have. It’s likely that the company won’t even realise some of the risks that their company could be facing.

“The UNGP Reporting Framework, which has been prepared by Mazars and Shift, will help companies look at the risks to the individual, not the company. If the risks to the individual are prioritised then in 99% of cases it will also be a danger to the company. If you just focus on risks to the company then potential impacts to the individual may be missed.”