PRESENTATION OF VIGEO'S RESEARCH FRAMEWORK
ON HUMAN RIGHTSviii
Vigeo Group is a European leading supplier of
extra-financial analysis. The Group measures the degree to which
the companies take into accountin the definition and deployment
of their strategiescorporate social responsibility objectives.
Vigeo's reference model is based on criteria drawing together
international objectives for social responsibility. These criteria
are divided into six fields: Human Rights, Human Resources, Environment,
Business Behaviour, Corporate Governance and Community Involvement.
In this paper we only consider findings analysed under the Human
Rights Domain, focusing in particular on two criteria: Fundamental
Human Rights, and Freedom of Association and the Right
to Collective Bargaining (Labour Rights). Each criterion is
correlated to international texts of reference.ix
Like all other Vigeo criteria, the human rights
criteria are analysed through the Leadership, Implementation and
Results (LIR) approach:
Leadership (L) relates to the formalisation
of commitments towards the promotion of human rights in terms
of visibility, relevance and ownership.
Implementation (I) focuses on the relevance
of the implementation measures used to achieve or respect the
company's commitment: monitoring of the respect of human rights,
risk assessments, and the promotion and coverage of the implementation
Results (R) are linked to the efficiency
of the system which is measured by the occurrence and management
of allegations and/or controversies.
For Vigeo, a company's CSR performance is also
an indication of the way it manages its legal, human capital,
operational and reputational risks. The weight Vigeo gives to
each risk class to asses a company depends on the nature of stakeholders'
rights, interests and expectations and the stakeholders' exposure.
For the domain of human rights, the reputational risks
(brand recognition; allegations; controversies; social acceptability;
attracting new skills; licence to operate) and legal risks
(litigations; trials; legal proceedings; fines) are of utter importance.
iii "Freedom of Association and the Right
to Collective Bargaining: Analysis of Vigeo's Universe of European
companies", Vigeo, February 2009
iv German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, French,
Belgian, Swiss and Spanish companies have also faced labour rights
controversies during the last three years. Controversies that
occurred in the "Western" world mostly concerned Anglo-Saxon
countries such as the USA, the UK and Australia.
vi Amnesty International Report 2008:
The UK continued to attempt to return individuals
to states where they would face a real risk of grave human rights
violations on the strength of unenforceable "diplomatic assurances".
Secrecy in the implementation of counter-terrorism measures led
to unfair judicial proceedings. There were continued failures
of accountability for past violations, including in relation to
alleged state collusion in killings in Northern Ireland. The government
sought to limit the extraterritorial application of human rights
protection, in particular in relation to the acts of its armed
forces in Iraq. Women who were subject to immigration control
and had experienced violence in the UK, including domestic violence
and trafficking, were unable to access the support they needed.
Rejected asylum-seekers continued to be forced into destitution.
Amnesty International Report 2007:
The government continued to erode fundamental
human rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary,
including by persisting with attempts to undermine the ban on
torture at home and abroad, and by seeking to enact legislation
inconsistent with fundamental human rights. Measures taken by
the authorities with the stated aim of countering terrorism led
to serious human rights violations, and concern was widespread
about the impact of these measures on Muslims and other minority
communities. Public judicial inquiries into cases of alleged state
collusion in past killings in Northern Ireland were ongoing, but
the government continued to fail to establish an inquiry into
the killing of Patrick Finucane.
vii See for example John Ruggie's report "on
the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other
business enterprises" according to which corporations have
legal responsibilities to prevent human rights abuses http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G07/108/85/PDF/G0710885.pdf?OpenElement
ix The International Bill of Human
United Nations: International covenant
on civil and political rights, 1966
United Nations: International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966
Global Compact, Principles 1 and
United Nations: Code of Conduct for Law
United Nations: Basic Principles on the
Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials
United Nations: Project of Norms on Responsibilities
of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with
regard to Human Rights, 2002
ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles
concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 2000
ILO: C169 Indigenous and Tribal
Peoples Convention, 1989
OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises,
fundamental ILO conventions: 29, 87,
98, 100, 105, 111, 138 and 182