Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector - Human Rights Joint Committee Contents

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Global Witness

  After Global Witness' oral testimony on Tuesday 7 July, you mentioned that we could email key points that we wanted to make, but could not because of a lack of time.

  The key points that we would like to put forward for the record include:

    1. For the UK Government to issue warnings and post advice to UK companies operating in conflict affected areas with respect to human rights concerns prevalent in those areas.

    2. For the UK Government to be proactive by engaging in outreach and monitoring activities of UK companies operating in conflict areas and provide advice and assistance to enable those companies to operate whilst respecting human rights concerns prevalent in those areas.

    3. For the UK Government to sanction UK companies found to be in violation of the OECD Guidelines or named in UN report at the national level through mechanisms and techniques reflecting the severity of the violations by public and private companies including: blacklisting companies, withdrawing any/all government support (eg insurance and other support from the ECGD) , affect companies public procurement contracts, revoking a companies license to operate, engage with the FSA to de-list a company from the London Stock Exchange, engage with the World Bank and other international institutions, etc…

    4. For the UK Government to compel companies to carry out due diligence to ensure that trade in natural resources from conflict affected areas is legal and complies with international human rights instruments. UK companies must be able to demonstrate the precise location and date of the extraction and the identities of all parties involved in extracting, handling and taxing the materials. Companies must ensure that any materials that they buy neither finance armed groups nor military units, nor involve or contribute to human rights abuses at any point along the supply chain.

    5. For the UK Government to proactively monitor, investigate and report UK companies identified in UN reports (egUN Group of Expert and UN Panel of Expert reports).

    6. For the UK Government to pass legislation that criminalises UK companies for use of force violations using the foreign provisions of the anti-corruption bill as a precedent.

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