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Corporate Leaders Issue Report on Business and Human Rights


London, Dec 9, 2004 – Ten companies participating in the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights (BLIHR), including six Global Compact participants, launched a report today detailing their progress in defining the role of business in human rights. The report, presented at The 2004 International Business and Human Rights Seminar, comes to the conclusion that a single universal framework for corporate responsibility based on internationally recognized human rights standards is needed. It further states that the “United Nations Norms on the Responsibilities of Trans-national Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights” (the Norms) could provide a useful starting place for developing such a framework .
The ten BLIHR member companies reporting their progress are: ABB, Barclays PLC, Gap Inc., Hewlett Packard, MTV Networks Europe, National Grid Transco, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Statoil and The Body Shop International.
The 2004 International Business and Human Rights Seminar is being chaired by Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is currently Executive Director of ‘Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative’ and Chair of the ‘Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights’ (BLIHR).
Speakers at this year’s Seminar included senior representatives from: ABB, Barclays, British Government, International Finance Corporation (World Bank), F&C Asset Management, Global Reporting Initiative, MTV National Grid Transco, Networks Europe, The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact Office, Trades Union Congress and Transparency International.

For more information about the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights, please contact:

John Morrison:  Tel +44-7887-684-948  john.morrison@respecteurope.com
Scott Jerbi:   Tel: +41-7942-32006  scott.jerbi@eginitiative.org
Please click here for a list of participants of the International Business and Human Rights Seminar.
Please click to visit the Seminar’s website.
Please click here to download the meeting report.