Investors support BankTrack’s Global Human Rights Benchmark

A group of 47 investors coordinated by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights has signed a statement in support of BankTrack’s 2022 Global Human Rights Benchmark.

The statement expresses concern regarding the human rights performance of banks as shown by the Benchmark’s findings, and calls on banks to “raise the ambition and increase the pace” of implementation of the Guiding Principles, as the UN has called for in its Roadmap for the Next Decade.

The Benchmark evaluated the disclosures of 50 of the world’s largest banks against a set of 14 criteria covering four key areas of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs): (1) policy commitment, (2) human rights due diligence, (3) reporting, and (4) access to remedy. In addition, it assessed how banks respond to specific cases of adverse human rights impacts raised by civil society groups.

“This statement and our partnership with BankTrack demonstrates how rigorous, evidence-based benchmarks grounded in international human rights frameworks such as the BankTrack Global Human Rights Benchmark can strengthen investors' analyses, proxy voting, and engagement strategies to ensure robust implementation of the UNGPs in the banking sector,” said Anita Dorett, director of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.

This investor statement comes at a crucial time as EU institutions begin the final stages of negotiations over the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, or CS3D, which aims to create mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence rules for companies. The inclusion of the financial sector in the scope of the legislation has been a controversial issue, leading to the recent release of a statement by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights calling on policy makers to include the entire financial sector in the CS3D without creating “carveouts” or other exceptions.

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