Putting people and the planet at the core of business

Research reports

Detailed papers making the case for policy changes

Risk Averse: Company Reporting on raw material and sector-specific risks under the Transparency in Supply Chains clause in the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

This report provides a snapshot of company Slavery and Human Trafficking statements published in compliance with the Transparency in Supply Chains clause in the Modern Slavery Act 2015, focusing on companies that produce or provide products and services to a large number of customers, including other businesses.

We examine statements from 25 businesses who source raw materials and commodities associated with a heightened risk of modern slavery – cocoa from West Africa, mined gold, mica from India, palm oil from Indonesia and tea from Assam – and 25 operating in sectors known to be at heightened risk of labour rights abuses: apparel and footwear, construction, hospitality, Premier League football and service outsourcing.

Report and resources available here >>

 

The French Law on Duty of Care: A Historic Step Towards Making Globalization Work for All

Monday, August 14th, 2017

The European Coalition for Corporate Justice and Sherpa have published a paper in the Business and Human Rights Journal on the French duty of vigilance law.

The paper describes a four-year battle, fought by civil society organisations, trade unions and Parliamentarians, to advance a law that assigned a duty of care among parent and subcontracting companies to prevent human rights abuses in their operations.

The piece situates the French law within other regulatory attempts to require due diligence in a number of European countries. It also reviews the nature and scope of the law’s requirements and its compliance mechanisms.

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Legal implications of the UK Referendum on EU membership for corporate accountability work in the UK

Monday, February 20th, 2017

By Deborah Doane and Dr. Jennifer Zerk

This paper sets out the findings of research commissioned by CORE in September 2017, to consider the legal implications of Brexit for corporate accountability work in the UK. There are an estimated 13,000 pieces of regulation that will be impacted by Brexit. While not all of these are relevant to corporate accountability, many EU laws are intended to raise standards of corporate behaviour and provide strong protections for workers, consumers, and the environment.

Brexit poses some major challenges to future work on corporate accountability, as the EU has, for the most part, been a positive force in pulling up standards in key social and environmental areas.  The outcome of our negotiations with the EU, in particular whether or not we have a “hard” or a “soft” Brexit, will determine the extent to which current laws from the EU are at risk.

At the same time, Brexit has opened up political space for discussion on potential improvements to trading relationships so that these support, rather than undermine, human rights, labour rights, environmental rights and corporate accountability more generally.  The political fallout from the EU Referendum in June 2016 has also focused attention on unfairness and inequality which in turn has created momentum around the need for corporate governance reform, to provide a greater “voice” for workers and people affected by poor business practices.  The government has indicated its desire to increase its influence on the world stage – will it seek to lead from a human rights or environmental perspective in this regard? The path is currently unclear.  The extent to which improvements can be made will undoubtedly require strong campaigning from civil society in the UK. Both sector-specific approaches, as well as corporate-wide opportunities, are now open.

Download the paper here

The Corporate Crime Principles

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

CORE partners, Amnesty International and The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), have launched “The Corporate Crimes Principles: Advancing Investigations and Prosecutions in Human Rights Cases”.

The Corporate Crime Principles are the culmination of work developed by a number of distinguished legal experts, supported by Amnesty International and ICAR, and seek to encourage state actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. The Principles address the impunity gap by providing a common, global approach to the investigation and prosecution of corporate crime.

 

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Obstacle Course: Executive Summary

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

This is the executive summary of Amnesty International’s report ‘Obstacle Course: How the UK’s National Contact Point handles human rights complaints under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises’. It details the main findings and conclusions of the full report, which examines how complaints have been dealt with by the UK NCP across three stages – initial assessment, mediation and determination. It assesses the extent to which the NCP complies with the OECD Guidelines’ implementation procedures and the extent to which the NCP’s statements and decisions are aligned with the Human Rights chapter of the Guidelines. Recommendations are made for improving the effectiveness of the UK NCP with regard to these findings.

 Download the report >>

Obstacle Course: How the UK’s NCP handles human rights complaints under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

This report by Amnesty International examines how complaints have been dealt with by the UK National Contact Point across three stages – initial assessment, mediation and determination. It assesses the extent to which the NCP complies with the OECD Guidelines’ implementation procedures and the extent to which the NCP’s statements and decisions are aligned with the Human Rights chapter of the Guidelines. Recommendations are made for improving the effectiveness of the UK NCP with regard to these findings.

 Download the report >>

Above the law? Time to hold irresponsible companies to account

Monday, December 21st, 2015

In this report, Traidcraft and CORE set out how gaps in the legal framework are allowing irresponsible companies to get away with actions in developing countries which would not be acceptable in the UK. It shows how some companies are turning a blind eye to forced evictions, unacceptable labour standards, pollution which damages both livelihoods and health, and even beatings and deaths.

 Download the report >>

Survey of the provision in the UK of access to remedies for victims of human rights harms involving business enterprises

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

A survey and analysis of the current state-based judicial and non-judicial mechanisms available in the UK to enable access to a remedy for victims of human rights abuses by business enterprises, by Professor Robert McCorquodale. Commissioned by the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

 Download the report >>

The Bottom Line: UK Corporate Abuse Overseas

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

The world over, some UK businesses are behaving in ways that would be unacceptable at home and getting away with it. CORE’s new report brings together ten recent case studies of serious abuses linked to UK corporations’ international operations.

Read the full report, along with our key recommendations for the UK government >>

The EU’s Business: Recommended actions to ensure access to judicial remedy for business-related human rights impacts

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

In 2014, Association Sherpa, CORE, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, ECCJ and Frank Bold launched a project to develop recommendations to improve access to judicial remedy in the EU for victims of corporate human rights abuses. Throughout 2014 a series of high-level conferences was held to facilitate discussion of existing challenges associated with access to justice and seek to identify tangible actions that would support EU and domestic policymakers to implement the third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles, which addresses access to remedy. The discussions in these conferences revealed that similar problems are encountered across jurisdictions; there are clear opportunities for the EU to provide leadership and guidance to Member States to support them to address these issues. This paper summarizes the outcomes of these discussions and presents a plan of recommended actions for the EU and its Member States on how to tackle identified barriers to access to justice.

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DIHR-ICAR National Action Plans Report

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have launched National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks.

Download the report »

第三大支柱: 让跨国公司侵犯人权行为的受害者获得司法救济 - The Third Pillar

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

CORE, European Coalition for Corporate Justice and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

States are failing in their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims of human rights abuse by business, wherever it occurs, require full and effective access to judicial remedies. Two years from the universal endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, there is more work to be done.

This report identifies and analyzes the barriers to remedy in the United States, Canada, and Europe, setting out detailed recommendations for the actions States should take to address the issue.

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The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedy for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

CORE, European Coalition for Corporate Justice and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

States are failing in their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims of human rights abuse by business, wherever it occurs, require full and effective access to judicial remedies. Two years from the universal endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, there is more work to be done.

This report identifies and analyzes the barriers to remedy in the United States, Canada, and Europe, setting out detailed recommendations for the actions States should take to address the issue.

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A more resource efficient EU economy: the role of company reporting

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Friends of the Earth Europe

The world’s resources are under ever-increasing pressure, leading to environmental, economic and social impacts. At the same time, commodity prices have increased 150% since 2000, creating economic pressures on companies and individuals. Research has shown that there are substantial gains to be made by improving the use of resources by companies, but only a limited number of companies are focusing on this area. By introducing rules to make companies measure and reduce their overall use of resources, environmental and social impacts will be improved, and companies will lower their costs while boosting competitiveness.

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Reality of Rights: barriers to accessing remedies when business operates beyond borders

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

CORE & The London School of Economics (LSE)

Reviewing examples from Kenya, India, Bangladesh, Georgia and Nigeria, The Reality of Rights demonstrates how political, social and economic obstacles leave victims of alleged human rights violations without remedy.

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Simply Put: Towards an Effective UK Regime for Environmental and Social Reporting By Companies

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

CORE

Simply Put provides an expert analysis of how the current legal framework is failing and what changes need to be made to the existing social and environmental corporate reporting regime.  Through smart and straightforward amendments, the report identifies how existing legal requirements could be simplified and streamlined to take the guesswork out of corporate compliance.

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Filling the Gap: a new body to investigate, sanction and provide remedies for abuses committed by UK companies abroad

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

CORE

This discussion paper was written to stimulate debate amongst corporate accountability campaigners and policy makers. The report aims to identify a way of filling the gap between, on the one hand, a series of relatively toothless soft law and self-regulatory initiatives, and, on the other hand, a domestic civil liability system which is fraught with difficulty for claimants.

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Fit for Purpose? A review of the UK National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 2008

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID) in association with CORE and The Trades Union Congress (TUC)

In 2005, MPs challenged the government to resolve inadequacies of the UK NCP, the government unit tasked with providing a degree of accountability for the environmental and human rights impacts of British companies operating abroad. This resulted in significant reforms to the NCP procedures. However, the findings in this report indicated that significant problems remained.

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Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Failing Children

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

CORE & Save the Children

The report reviews the implementation of the International Code on Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; The Extractive Industries Transparencies Initiative (EITI); and The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and reveals how all have been breached by leading companies.

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Flagship or Failure? The UK’s implementation of the OECD guidelines and it’s approach to corporate accountability

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth

This report reviews the limited success of the UK’s implementation of the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises.

Download the report »