Companies and states need to step up their efforts to support environmental and human rights defenders negatively affected by business operations, a seminar arranged by Swedwatch and member organisations heard.
With training sessions on business, human rights and the environment, Swedwatch has supported East African partners working with communities affected by mining and agribusiness in their work to hold business actors accountable.
More than a billion people are affected by violent conflict around the world each year but the vital role of business in fuelling conflict and sustaining peace is often overlooked in international peacebuilding efforts, a new Swedwatch policy paper argues.
- Public procurement
- High-risk and conflict areas
- Vulnerable groups
- Climate and environment
- Community rights
- Labour rights
Swedish municipalities, county councils and government authorities procure goods worth more than 63 billion euros annually. A large portion are manufactured or grown in countries where there is a high risk of negative impacts on human rights and the environment.Read more about Public procurement
High-risk and conflict areas
In areas where there is war or conflict, or where the state is weak, there is a higher risk of human rights violations. Companies active in such areas need to know and act responsibly on these risks.Read more about High-risk and conflict areas
Some groups, for example children, indigenous peoples or migrant workers run a higher risk than others of being adversely affected by companies’ activities. Whoever they are, companies have a duty to respect their special rights.Read more about Vulnerable groups
Climate and environment
Climate and environment are closely linked to human rights. Companies have a responsibility to know how they affect the climate and the environment, and to make sure that they do not contribute to environmental degradation and climate change.Read more about Climate and environment
Forced displacement in connection with new land-related projects is common and in breach with several human rights. People who depend on family farming might end up losing their homes and incomes when forced to move.Read more about Community rights
There is a high risk of employees’ rights being abused in global supply chains. Guaranteeing good working conditions is a substantial and important part of companies’ responsibilities in terms of respecting human rights.Read more about Labour rights