(06 May2015) – A paper recently published by the University of Maastricht examines company responses to civil society reports transmitted to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. The analysis covers responses to 1877 requests made by the Resource Centre in 2005-2014.
How do companies respond to their critics? Are there significant differences in responsiveness between industrial sectors, between the countries in which companies are based and between the companies themselves? Do responses reflect the belief that companies have a responsibility to respect human rights? Do companies that participate in the UN Global Compact react more responsibly than those that don’t? The paper attempts to answer these questions.
Of 1,800 human rights violations analysed by the University of Maastricht, 198 can be traced to British companies, 87 to German companies, 79 to French companies and 69 to Dutch companies.
According to the number of such cases, this places the UK in second position, behind the United States (511 cases reported to the BHRRC), and Germany in fifth position behind Canada (110) and China (94).