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European Commission announces partners for business and human rights projects under new CSR strategy

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The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry has announced the names of organisations that will implement important new European projects on business and human rights.

The development of sector-specific guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights will be led by the Institute for Human Rights and Business together with Shift, an independent non-profit centre specialising in this field.

The Commission expects to announce in February its final decision regarding the choice of the three sectors for which human rights guidance will be developed. The choice will be made on the basis of objective criteria which can be viewed here.
Suggestions for sectors are welcome via the same website up until 29 January 2012, with an explanation as to how they best fit the criteria.

Work to build the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of human rights will be carried out by Bernard Brunhes International in cooperation with Global CSR. These partners will be supported by UEAPME (the European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises). Together they will produce a human rights risk-mapping for SMEs, draft some case studies of how SMEs deal with human rights, and develop a practical guide to human rights for small businesses.

The Commission identified these two initiatives as priority actions for the further promotion of corporate social responsibility in its recent communication on this topic. Both initiatives are scheduled to last 12 months, through to the end of 2012. The Commission’s aim is to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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