The non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is launching its first regional briefing on “Business & human rights in Eastern Europe & Central Asia – a round-up of recent developments.”
The briefing provides a reality-based snapshot of companies’ human rights impacts in the region. It highlights concerns raised by civil society, company responses to allegations of misconduct, positive initiatives by business, and developments in law, policy, lawsuits and the international business & human rights framework. Subjects in the briefing include widespread industrial pollution affecting health and causing displacement, workplace discrimination (based on gender, age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation), health & safety abuses, child labour, and abuses of trade union rights. The briefing also refers to human rights lawsuits against companies in Armenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Russia.
The briefing’s introduction notes which companies headquartered in the region had the best and worst response rates when Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited them to respond to human rights concerns raised by civil society. Five companies had a 100% response rate: Alaverdi Copper Smelting (headquartered in Armenia), CaspiEcology Environmental Services (Kazakhstan), Rusal (Russia), Tengizchevroil (Kazakhstan), and Ukrenergo (Ukraine). Five companies had a 0% response rate: Gazprom (Russia), GeoPro Mining (Russia), HEP (Croatia), Rosoboronexport (Russia), and ТОО «Горнолыжный курорт «Көкжайлау» (Kazakhstan). The statistics also show the response rates country-by-country, with the highest response rates from companies headquartered in Bulgaria, Armenia and Kazakhstan, and the lowest response rates from companies headquartered in Ukraine and Croatia. The briefing provides a link to the full text of all company responses.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre will be submitting the briefing to the United Nations Working Group on business & human rights, the Council of Europe, the International Labour Organization, and the International Finance Corporation. The Centre will also contact governments in the region to express its concern about those companies headquartered in their country that fail to respond to civil society when human rights concerns are raised, and to note which companies have a good response rate.
Mauricio Lazala, the Resource Centre’s Deputy Director, said:
“This briefing provides a concise overview of key developments and trends in the business and human rights field in Eastern Europe & Central Asia over the past four years. It highlights major concerns related to companies’ operations and positive initiatives undertaken by companies.”
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For more information : Business & Human Rights Resource Centre