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Libertés & Solidarité is unique among socially responsible investment funds in France. It was created by FIDH in 2001 with the backing of La Banque Postale, Caisse des dépôts and Macif. It allows private and institutional investors to combine both ethics and solidarity, through the inclusion of human rights criteria in stock selection, and a profit-sharing mechanism between FIDH and subscribers.

A precious source of funding

Thanks to its performance-sharing mechanism, whereby half of the distributed revenue is donated to FIDH, Libertés & Solidarité is a valuable source of funding that contributes to FIDH’s actions worldwide. It provides flexible funding that contributes to FIDH’s financial independence and provides resources for emergency actions.

A positive impact on human rights

FIDH has produced specific methodology for the evaluation of states and companies. Through Libertés & Solidarité it is building an investment universe that uses criteria that focus on human rights. Investments are composed of approximately two thirds of government bonds and one third shares and private bonds.

States

Every two years, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, FIDH publishes a study evaluating how EU Member States fulfill their obligations in respect of human rights. In 2014, FIDH ranked the 28 EU Member States on the basis of 67 human rights and 17 environmental indicators. The human rights criteria include gender equality, labour rights, freedom of expression, rights of migrants or promotion of human rights abroad.

The percentage of government bonds that the asset manager includes in the portfolio is based on this country ranking system. Countries rated between 1 and 5 issue 50 % of the fund’s bonds, while countries rated 6 to 10 and 11 to 15 issue 30 % and 20 % respectively.

Countries with the highest ranking in 2014

1. Sweden; 2. Finland ; 3. Denmark ; 4. Slovenia ; 5. France ; 6. Austria ; 7. Netherlands ; 8. Ireland ; 9. Germany ; 10. Luxembourg ; 11. Estonia ; 12. Lithuania ; 13. United Kingdom ; 14. ; Spain ; 15. Slovakia

Business enterprises

FIDH has long advocated for the respect of economic, social and cultural rights in the context of globalisation. It is actively investigating, documenting and supporting victims of human rights violations by business enterprises. Together with its member organisations, FIDH pushes governments to protect populations against such abuses. At the international level, FIDH advocates for organisations such as the EU or the UN to ensure economic actors respect human rights.

Drawing on its expertise and together with the independent Ethics Committee of Libertés & Solidarité, FIDH defines key human rights criteria for each sector of activity. These criteria may, for instance, include working conditions, non-discrimination, freedom of association, the right to health or the rights of indigenous people.

FIDH regularly engages in dialogue with companies both before and after they are integrated into the investment universe. It specifically reserves the right to exclude any company involved in controversial activities.

The arms and nuclear energy sectors are excluded from the investment universe, as well as companies that participate in or benefit from economic activities carried out in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

“Through Libertés & Solidarité, FIDH encourages companies to behave responsibly. Together with other investors such as northern European pension funds, we contribute to the inclusion of environmental and social standards in business decision.” Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

Children working in a ship-breaking yard in Bangladesh

For more information on our ethical fund and to subscribe to the newsletter of Libertés & Soldiarité, please contact libsol@fidh.org

Our Ethical fund is labelled by Finansol and Novethic.

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