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Mazars steps up its human rights audit project

Mazars has teamed up with Shift, a non-profit centre on business and human rights, in issuing a discussion paper on the development of global standards for human rights reporting and assurance.

Mazars has been working on its human rights audit methodology for a couple of years and was awarded the International Accounting Bulletin Audit Innovation Award in 2012 for the project.

The discussion paper proposes standards, which will allow companies to show the extent to which they are aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were developed by Shift's chair, John Ruggie, and endorsed unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.

Mazars said that the proposed reporting standard will allow companies to issue a human rights statement that demonstrates how their internal policies and processes align with the UN guiding principles, and assist them on a journey of continuous improvement.
Mazars UK head of social performance and human rights reporting service line Richard Karmel said: "Several companies have made good progress in reporting how their business impacts on human rights. However, the approach to reporting has thus far been variable and fragmented: Shift and Mazars are aiming to introduce a unified approach for the benefit of both companies and their stakeholders."

"Recent events such as the garment factory tragedy in Bangladesh only serve to highlight just how much there still is to do. These standards will help companies reflect not just on how effectively they manage direct impacts on human rights, but also indirect ones in their supply chains and on other remote stakeholders," he added.

The discussion paper is open for comment until 1 July.

Related link
Mazars and Shift discussion paper

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