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Human Rights

 

In the 21st century, the commitment to human rights is of growing importance to investors in the global economy. While corporations are generally not bound to international humanitarian laws, shareholders of public companies are increasingly recognizing that long-term value creation is intrinsically linked with a company’s commitment to fundamental human rights. Multinational companies play an increasingly large role in the governance of the global economy and can either be directly complicit or may indirectly contribute to human rights abuses.


Methodology  

Since the modern day corporation owes its responsibility first and foremost to its shareholders, it is incumbent upon the owners of pubic companies to actively monitor portfolio holdings and engage companies they own. When companies are in violation of basic human rights, shareholder value is at risk from negative public relations, costly litigation and diminished consumer goodwill. Enhanced corporate transparency with regard to a firm's human rights and environmental record helps institutional investors satisfy their fiduciary obligation to consider additional information that addresses any foreseeable risks that could impact a corporate enterprise. Our analytical framework seeks to assess the policies and practices of our clients' portfolio companies with regards to human rights issues around the world. We research public and proprietary information sources to determine if a company's practices comply with its own stated policies and internal controls and to ensure that the company's operations do not contribute to human rights violations or the degradation of natural resources. Evaluative factors in this category include:
  • Indication of a published Code of Conduct by the company
  • Compliance with the company's own Code of Conduct
  • Evidence of human rights issues
  • Evidence of health and safety issues
  • Displacement or resettlement of local peoples
  • Whether the company is a signatory to the UN Global Compact or other international agreements
  • Destruction or poor management of natural resources

Taking these factors into account, our objective is to provide a comprehensive picture of a company's status as a responsible global citizen.