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Irish Business & Human Rights: Benchmarking Compliance with UN Guiding Principles

November 8th, 2019

Irish Business & Human Rights: benchmarking compliance with UN Guiding Principles

On November 8th, the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) in Trinity Business School welcomed Eamon Gilmore, EU Representative on Human Rights , as key note speaker for the launch of the first report on Irish business compliance with UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGPs). 

In the report, 22 of the largest companies in Ireland are assessed using the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) methodology.  The benchmark looks at policies, due diligence and access to remedies found in publicly available documents produced by the companies assessed.  Companies were contacted about the research and invited to provide further documentation if they so wished.

The overall findings suggest that Irish multinational companies are lagging behind other multinationals in their recognition of and compliance with the UNGPs – based on the benchmark used.  Recognising that this raises social and political issues, there are also potential economic consequences and Prof. Martha O’Hagan-Luff will explain how similar indices have been shown to have an impact on financial performance.

The report highlights the need to take the UNGPs more seriously across Irish industry.  In the National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020, the government has committed to "promote responsible business practices at home and overseas by all Irish business enterprises in line with Ireland’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights globally and to being one of the best countries in the world in which to do business".  The CSI report suggests that there is a long way to go if Irish business is to be convincing on their human rights policies and practices.  

Read the full report here.

For further information contact:  Mary Lee Rhodes (087-915-2769), Co-Director, Trinity Centre for Social Innovation