Mazars and human rights non-profit company Shift have released guidance to help internal auditors and external assurance practitioners to assess the human rights performance and reporting in companies in compliance with international standards.
Author of the UN Guiding Principles professor John Ruggie said: “Independent assurance has a vital role to play in enhancing the credibility of what the company’s Board is told – and tells others – about its risks and performance.”
This guidance complements existing standards by exploring the implications when it comes to human rights. It was developed over several years and supports the 2015 UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, aligned with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Governments have been increasingly focusing on corporate governance and the EU now demands public companies with over 500 employees to identify and address risks relating to human rights.
Mazars head of human rights services Richard Karmel said: “Investors, customers and employees have a right to know about the progress made and it is no longer enough to say ‘I wasn’t aware.’ As professional advisers, we must instead integrate [human rights] effectively within our professional skill-sets.”
Shift president Caroline Rees added: “Companies cannot gamble. There are significant risks to corporate business reputation, continuity and opportunity if companies ignore their record in human rights.”