July 14, 2021
The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is committed to advancing human rights in global supply chains worldwide and strongly condemns harassment, threats, intimidation, and violence of any kind against human rights defenders.
According to a recent report from the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, “More than 2,883 attacks on human rights defenders were registered between 2015 and 2020, increasing in each year of this period.” This is a tragic and alarming trend that must be addressed. In alignment with the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, the RBA calls on all governments, businesses and other organizations to help safeguard defenders who raise concerns about business-related impacts on human rights.
The RBA shares common goals with human rights defenders, to protect and improve conditions for workers. Human rights defenders and civil society organizations often provide crucial intelligence on issues that might not otherwise come to light. The RBA and its member companies engage a variety of stakeholders to assist workers, directly and indirectly, through partnerships with civil society organizations and other NGOs, trade unions and worker groups, academics, governments, policymakers, other industry groups and investors. The RBA’s Responsible Labor and Responsible Minerals Initiatives also have multi-stakeholder advisory boards and steering committees. We applaud these stakeholders and the work they do, independently and in conjunction with the RBA.
Protecting workers is the heart of our efforts, from our Code of Conduct based on international human rights and labor standards, to our industry-leading assurance and risk assessment programs, to trainings on responsible business conduct, to our worker voice platform and grievance mechanisms.
We recognize there is still much work to be done and believe it is imperative to include all voices in helping to protect human rights defenders and workers.