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Business and Civil Society Leaders Call for Better Human Rights Disclosure

Submitted by: Global Reporting Initiative

Categories: Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Dec 10, 2008 – 07:56 AM EST


Dec. 10 /CSRwire/ - AMSTERDAM. - 10, December 2008 - Today - on the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - corporate, trade union and civil society leaders have added their voices to the call by The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative (Realizing Rights) for better corporate reporting on human rights.

The joint initiative led by GRI, UNGC and Realizing Rights aims to significantly improve understanding of how and why to publicly disclose policies and practice relating to human rights and how to embed this better understanding into globally applicable reporting standards.

Kumi Naidoo, Honorary President of Civicus said:

"The sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights serves to remind us of the progress that has been made in recent decades, but, this is no time for us to rest. The battle for dignity for all human beings is not yet won. Our companies have an important role to play to promote and uphold human rights. We need businesses to show how they are managing their impacts on human rights through transparent, meaningful and public disclosure. To get there we need business to come together with civil society and other stakeholders to develop a common understanding of what that disclosure should look like, and I therefore support this joint initiative by GRI, the Global Compact and Realizing Rights."

In addition to Kumi Naidoo, the following leaders have signed up as members of the project's Action Committee:

Sharan Burrow, President, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC);

Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American;

B. Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel;

Carl-Henric Svenberg, President and CEO, Ericsson.

GRI, UNGC and Realizing Rights have convened a multi-stakeholder Working Group to shape greater consensus on what constitutes good human rights practice and measurement. These efforts will lead to the development of practical resources to help businesses improve their human rights performance measurement and reporting. The efforts of the Working Group will also lead to recommendations on how the GRI G3 Guidelines can support improved reporting on human rights performance.

To inform the Working Group's discussions, GRI, UNGC and Realizing Rights will hold two workshops which will bring together experts from business, NGOs, trade unions, finance, intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholders to discuss perspectives and expectations on best approaches to human rights performance measurement and reporting.

Notes to editors

About the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) - has pioneered the development of the world's most widely used sustainability reporting framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide. The G3 Guidelines enable an organization of any size, sector or location to measure and disclose its performance on a range of key sustainability indicators. The G3 Guidelines provide a disclosure framework that organizations can voluntarily, flexibly, and incrementally, adopt (

About the United Nations Global Compact - Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings business together with UN agencies, labour, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. It is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, with over 5,000 signatories based in more than 120 countries. (

About Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative - founded by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Realizing Rights convenes key stakeholders in new alliances to integrate human rights, gender equality and enhanced accountability into efforts to address global challenges and governance shortcomings. (

For more information, please contact:

Scott McAusland Global Reporting Initiative
Phone: +31 20 531 00 57
Scott Jerbi Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Geneva
Phone: + 41 22 755 2125
Matthias Stausberg United Nations Global Compact Office, New York
Phone: +1 917 367 3423

For more from this organization:

Global Reporting Initiative


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