Richard Karmel talks to Value CSR founder Dwayne Baraka

 

Mazars’ Global Head of Human Rights Richard Karmel, was part of the team along with Shift Project that created the UNGP recognised Reporting Framework.

Richard recently spoke with Dwayne Baraka, founder of Value CSR and a highly thought of figure within his industry to discuss the framework and other industry matters.

Respecting human rights

The interview, which is available to read on Dwayne Baraka’s website, is highly in-depth, insightful and covers a multitude of topics.

Dwayne begins by asking Richard the ways in which businesses have evolved their thinking towards respecting human rights? Below is a short summary of Richard’s answer:

“Companies are realising that social media can not only be a great creator of value, it can also destroy value if inappropriate corporate behaviour is called out.”

Richard goes onto explain how the business and human rights agenda has shifted itself in the last decade.

“As Professor John Ruggie said in May 2015 at the US launch of the UNGP Reporting Framework, that when he was looking at this subject 10 years ago, the initial reaction of business was that this wasn’t their responsibility to consider human rights but that of individual states.  However, with the EIU survey indicating that 83% of business respect human rights, it is certain that the human rights agenda has shifted.”

Industry leaders

Mazars is seen as one of the leading lights when it comes to corporate human rights, with Richard spearheading the firm’s policies and more recently the Report Framework. He explained to Dwayne the reasons behind this:

“From conversations with companies and investors, we realised that companies in particular were having difficulty in operationalising the UNGPs.  At that time, having developed our own assurance programme for human rights, we realised that this wasn’t sufficient if companies didn’t really know what processes and controls they should be putting in place to demonstrate corporate respect for human rights throughout their value chain.”

Top Tips

The interview finishes with Richard sharing five top tips for businesses when it comes to respecting their salient human rights risks. You can read all five by visiting Dwayne’s website, but below is a sneak peek.

4. Have a project team that is made up of senior personnel from different parts of the business overseeing the journey ie a typical team will include someone from sales, procurement, HR, marketing and communications and will be sponsored by a main board member to demonstrate legitimacy. Don’t just leave it with the CSR department to work alone without any authority.”

Learn more about business and human rights and the effects it could have on your company by watching Richard’s webinars via his YouTube page.