WEBINAR: ESG and Human Rights: assessing modern slavery risks in investors’ portfolios

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On Monday 10th May 2021, FIDH organised an online event where it presented its new report on sustainable investment and modern slavery, and discussed with the rest of the panelists how can investors analyse modern slavery risks in their portfolios and engage with companies in relation to serious human rights impacts. The event was attended by over 200 participants, representing different stakeholder groups from around the world.

The discussion, moderated by Mauricio Lazala (Deputy Director and Head of Europe Office at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre), included interventions from a variety of stakeholders: Ana Pérez (Project Officer, Human Rights and Sustainable Investment at FIDH), Léa Bozzi (SRI Analyst at La Banque Postale Asset Management), Katharine Bryant (Research Manager at The Walk Free Foundation), Mark Hodge (Senior Associate at Shift) and Anita Dorett (Program Director at the Investor Alliance for Human Rights). Maddalena Neglia (Director of the Globalisation and Human Rights Desk at FIDH), gave opening remarks, describing the long experience of FIDH working on sustainable investment and human rights, including through its partnership with La Banque Postale Asset Management in the ethical mutual fund “SRI Human Rights fund”

In the webinar, the panelists discussed, among other things, what indicators can investors use to analyse how companies in their portfolios are managing modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains, the limitations of those indicators and how can investors overcome these limitations. Moreover, the panelists debated the impacts of certain regulations (such as the UK Modern Slavery Act, the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive or regulations requiring companies to conduct human rights due diligence processes) on how investors manage and address modern slavery in their portfolio companies. Finally, the conversation also included a specific mention to the situation of the government-sanctioned modern slavery in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur region and how should investors engage with companies in this regard.

Watch the video of the full event

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