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“In Their Words” – Business & Human Rights Resource Centre Marks its 10th Anniversary with Videos of Advocates Talking About Their Work

Submitted by: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Categories: Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 30, 2013 – 09:45 AM EST

 

LONDON, May 30 /CSRwire/ - Today Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched a platform featuring short videos of advocates talking about their work on companies’ human rights impacts.  The initiative, called “In Their Words”, marks the 10th anniversary year of the Resource Centre.  The organizations featured in the videos are headquartered in Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Uganda and the UK. 

Note: This press release is also available here in Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish.

Resource Centre Director Christopher Avery said: “We felt that this was the right way to mark our 10th anniversary – by highlighting the critical work being done by organizations in various regions to safeguard human rights.”

Without the efforts of human rights advocates on the ground, the Resource Centre’s work would not be possible.  The Resource Centre disseminates information on companies’ human rights impacts (positive and negative) to a global audience.  It provides guidance to everyone working in this field.  And it invites companies to respond to allegations, which helps ensure that its coverage is balanced and encourages companies to address concerns.  So far it has sought over 1500 responses, from companies of all sizes and in all regions.  Over 70% have responded. 

The “In Their Words” videos feature the following organizations:

  • Crude Accountability (Kazakhstan)
  • European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (Germany)
  • Fundación Ideas para la Paz (Colombia)
  • London Mining Network
  • MiningWatch Canada
  • NAPE – National Association of Professional Environmentalists (Uganda)
  • Nasawiya (Lebanon)
  • ProDesc – Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (Mexico)
  • Safety and Rights (Bangladesh)

Between them they work on many issues, including: changing attitudes on sexual harassment in the workplace; reducing environmental contamination that affects human health; improving safety in the construction industry; and engaging with companies on conflict-prevention and peace-building efforts.

Programme Director Annabel Short said: “Most companies that take human rights seriously will say that local organizations highlighting concerns and raising questions helped prompt them to do so.  We are delighted to launch these short, inspiring videos.  We encourage everyone to watch and share them.  Of course, they feature just a few of the many organizations working on business and human rights issues globally.  We hope to add new videos to the ‘In Their Words’ series over time.”

East Asia Researcher Lowell Chow, based in Hong Kong, commented: “Awareness of business and human rights is on the rise in all regions.  Things have come far since the Resource Centre was founded.  But there is still a long way to go, and the work of advocates like the ones featured in this video series will be crucial for change.”

In the coming years the Resource Centre will continue to disseminate concerns raised by advocates to an influential audience and ask companies to respond to those concerns.  The Resource Centre also plans to: re-launch its website with a more user-friendly design and interface; significantly increase its provision of information in languages other than English; and recruit regional directors based in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  

About Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The Resource Centre, a non-profit organization, provides the leading information hub on business & human rights: www.business-humanrights.org.  The website tracks reports about the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of over 5000 companies in over 180 countries, and provides guidance tools and resources.  The site is relied on by businesspeople, NGOs, investors, governments and the United Nations.

We seek responses from companies when concerns are raised by civil society.  The response rate is over 70% globally.  Our website provides a list of all companies we invited to respond to concerns – indicating the country and issue, and whether or not the company responded, with a link to each company response.   

Our staff and regional researchers are based in Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, UK, Ukraine and USA.  Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland, is Chair of the Centre’s International Advisory Network.  Our Academic Partners comprise 23 leading academic institutions.

The Resource Centre’s mission is to encourage companies to respect and promote human rights, and avoid harm to people.  We do this by advancing:

  • Transparency – pursuing, collecting and disseminating to a global audience information about company conduct, positive and negative;
  • Public accountability – helping civil society get companies to address concerns;  seeking responses and drawing attention to each company’s response or failure to respond; and
  • Informed decision-making – providing the leading business & human rights resource and guidance hub, to assist civil society, companies and others. 

The Centre does not accept funding from companies or company foundations, in order to maintain its independence and to prevent any possible perception of a conflict of interest.  Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.

For further details, see the "About us" section of our website, and the “Contact us” section.  Sign up for free Weekly Updates on business & human rights here.

For more information, please contact:

Annabel Short Program Director
Phone: +1 212 564 9160

 

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