Business and Human Rights

Private actors, in particular transnational corporations, have widely benefited from globalisation and have accumulated tremendous power. However, this power has not been matched with corresponding obligations. Businesses continue to cause or contribute to human rights and environmental abuses through their activities, both at home and across borders. Communities affected by corporate activities struggle to obtain justice and reparation.

FIDH calls on States and economic actors to ensure the export of goods or services, investments and development projects – such as large-scale mining, infrastructure projects or the sale of surveillance technologies – do not lead to human rights abuses and truly benefit local populations. FIDH documents cases of corporate-related human rights violations, including through the use of a community-based human rights impact assessment methodology.

FIDH turns to judicial and non-judicial remedy mechanisms to ensure accountability and access to justice for affected communities. FIDH advocates for stronger legal frameworks to prevent, sanction and remedy abuses caused by the activities of business enterprises. At the UN level, FIDH is engaged in the United Nation process for the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of corporations in relation to human rights (see Treaty process).

FIDH sits on the Advisory Board of the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP).

FIDH is a member of ESCR-Net, OECD Watch, CAUSE, the ETO Consortium and the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. At the European level, FIDH is a steering group member of ECCJ.

  • FIDH-Carrefour Cooperation

    To monitor the respect of fundamental rights at work by its suppliers, the Carrefour group turned towards FIDH in 1997, at a time when business-NGO partnerships were not very common (retail company). This cooperation was formalised in 2000 with the adoption of a Supplier Charter, a control mechanism and the creation of the association « Infans « . In 2005, the auditing mechanism was updated. The joint association « Infans » mandate has evolved; the priority for now is the reinforcement of a legal framework concerning corporate responsibility. “Infans

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  • Socially Responsible Investment

    FIDH is active in the area of Socially Responsible investment through its own ethical fund, Libertés & Solidarité. Libertés & solidarité is both an ethical and philanthropic Fund. Ethical, because the bonds (75%) as much as the shares (25%) are selected on the basis of the States’ and corporations respect for human rights. Philanthropic, because 50% of the revenues generated by the fund return as a donation to FIDH. These revenues enable FIDH to conduct its actions to protect and promote human rights.

    The criteria of the FIDH focus on human rights. For bonds, FIDH criteria rest on the evaluation of the country’s human rights policy, and conduct an analysis every 2 year. For shares, the criteria are based on the integration, by the corporations of a given industry of international norms of human rights in their politicies and activities.

    Libertés & Solidarité has been labeled by Finansol and Novethic.