ICAR Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Jana Morgan, submitted written testimony to the Congressional record for the April 2, 2019 Banking Committee hearing entitled “The Application of Environmental, Social, and Governance Principles in Investing and the Role of Asset Managers, Proxy Advisors, and Other Intermediaries.”
Over the past few decades, investors have become increasingly concerned not only with the short term profits of their investments, but also the long-term viability of the public companies in which they invest. The United States’ lack of action puts the country at risk of falling behind the global curve in mandating the disclosure of ESG issues important to investor assessment of long-term profitability. Common misconceptions about ESG reporting must be addressed in order to push forth meaningful reporting requirements that respond to investor needs.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting provides critical information to investors that helps to guide their investment decisions, and as such is critical for the long-term health and well-being of a public company. These disclosures are essential for companies that want to be seen as good corporate citizens. When a company is transparent around these important issues it often receives a reputational boost and greater access to capital. The Securities and Exchange Commission should initiate a rulemaking to ensure that ESG disclosures are comprehensive, consistent, and comparable.
A new report by ICAR and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) takes stock of progress made under current modern slavery reporting requirements and issues recommendations to improve these laws and corporate reporting practices under them.
ICAR, Frank Bold, and the Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit are pleased to announce the publication of a new report that explores evidence based economic arguments for companies to promote human rights. The report is entitled “Good Business: The Economic Case for Protecting Human Rights.”
A new report published by CORE and ICAR reveals that that a third of companies that have supplied uniforms for UK public sector workers, including the armed forces and prison officers, have not reported on what they are doing to tackle slavery in their supply chains.
Our report ‘Who Made Our Uniforms?’ reveals that few contractors supplying uniforms and specialist safety clothing to the UK public sector are transparent about their ethical standards and international suppliers.
This paper, a joint product of ICAR and the Enough Project, lays out the essential elements of how sanctions programs are created, implemented, and enforced. Specifically, the paper details of the legal authorities underlying sanctions, the agencies involved, and the approaches to implementation that have proved most effective. The paper also discusses the specific sanctions programs or mechanisms that can be leveraged to promote human rights abroad.
This paper provides an overview of the GSP program and a related regional trade preference program for sub-Saharan African countries, identifies gaps in implementation, and proposes recommendations for Congress and the administration to enhance the legal structure and enforcement of the GSP with a view to improving human rights, including labor rights, globally.
Despite the widely recognized ill-effects of extractive operations on the communities in which they operate, States, development banks, and extractive companies continue to support these projects without due consideration of their potential human rights impacts.
This report provides guidance on how human rights issues related to the extractive sector can be addressed in NAPs on business and human rights, as well as other similar policies. It is intended for use by both States with large amounts of oil, gas, mineral, and other natural resource wealth and extraction (host States) and States where multinational extractive companies are domiciled or registered (home States).
ICAR and DIHR originally published the NAPs Toolkit in July 2014 with the aim of providing the first building blocks towards a common framework for developing and evaluating NAPs on business and human rights. Since its publication, various components of the Toolkit have been utilized by state actors, civil society organizations, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), and academia to inform their work on NAPs, including through the creation of official and shadow National Baseline Assessments and assessments of existing NAPs.
Accountability Counsel, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (“ICAR”), and OECD Watch are conducting research to evaluate the National Contact Point (“NCP”) peer review process and identify opportunities for improvement, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that NCPs are functionally equivalent and provide effective access to remedy.
The directory shows which organizations are generating, or will be generating, public information related to labor rights in the apparel industry. The impetus behind the directory came from a meeting that ICAR and C&A Foundation jointly hosted in October 2016, which was attended by data generating, gathering, and policy advocacy organizations. During this meeting, participants agreed that having a map of available data on labor rights in the apparel industry would help to facilitate collaboration, identify gaps in available information, and ensure that the data being produced is useful for policy advocacy organizations.
This August 2017 report updates the ICAR-ECCJ November 2015 publication by incorporating assessments of the NAPs of Norway, Colombia, United Kingdom (2016 iteration), Italy, Switzerland, and United States.
This document is intended to provide an overview of the ISDS system; present leading critiques on the negative impacts of ISDS in undermining State sovereignty and the State duty to protect human rights; and highlight current State practice in disengaging with the ISDS system, revising bilateral trade agreements, and revising the ISDS system.
Public procurement – the purchase by the public sector of the goods and services it needs to carry out its functions – is a major component of the overall global economy, accounting for €1000 billion per year and on average 12% of GDP in OECD countries.
Human rights standards to which governments have signed up, such as the widely-supported UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, oblige public buyers to ensure respect for human rights in their supply chains. At the same time, the recently-adopted 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda highlight the role of government procurement as part of the transition to sustainable production and consumption.
ICAR is pleased to announce the publication of "Follow the Thread: The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry," which was developed by a coalition of 9 organizations, including ICAR.
The coalition consists of Clean Clothes Campaign, Human Rights Watch, IndustriALL Global Union, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the International Labor Rights Forum, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Maquila Solidarity Network, UNI Global Union, and the Worker Rights Consortium.
In December 2016, the United States government launched its first NAP on Responsible Business Conduct. In response, ICAR has conducted a structured assessment of the U.S. NAP, using the NAPs Checklist developed and published by ICAR and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) as part of the ICAR-DIHR NAPs Toolkit. The NAPs Checklist lays out a set of twenty-five criteria that address both the content of NAPs and the process for developing them.
On February 20, 2017, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) hosted an expert workshop on Advancing the Business and Human Rights Agenda through the G20 and G7. In preparation for this meeting, ICAR and DIMR produced a background document on the structure and functioning of the G20, its engagement groups, and key German priorities and dates for the 2017 G20 presidency.
Each year in September, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (“ICAR”) hosts a closed meeting to discuss the current state of corporate accountability in the domestic and international arenas. The two-day event sets the stage for a united movement on these issues among leading civil society organizations from across the globe.
Download summaries of each of ICAR’s Annual Meetings:
On December 3, 2012, in conjunction with the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) along with the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) launched the report below by International Experts on Business and Human Rights, entitled “Human Rights Due Diligence: the Role of States.”
The International Experts commissioned include Professor Olivier De Schutter, Professor Anita Ramasastry, Mark B. Taylor and Robert C. Thompson.
The Report, edited, reviewed and endorsed by Professor Cynthia A. Williams, argues that human rights are materially relevant to corporate securities reporting and encourages the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to guide businesses in reporting material human rights information in their periodic and proxy disclosure reports.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) have conducted structured assessments of current National Action Plans (NAPs) on business and human rights. To date, only four countries - the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Finland - have released NAPs on business and human rights. At the same time, a number of other governments have begun the process of developing such NAPs or have publicly announced an intention to do so. As such, it is essential that the four existing NAPs be closely analyzed in terms of their content and processes in order to assess best practice and to suggest areas for improvement going forward.
The Corporate Crimes Principles were developed by a group of eminent legal experts, with the support of ICAR and Amnesty International, to encourage State actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They were developed following extensive global consultations with investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and civil society actors. The Principlesprovide practical guidance on issues such as: case selection, evidence collection, identifying tools, resources and strategies for effectively pursuing such cases, cross-border collaboration, and victims’ access to justice and witness protection.