25% Finnish companies properly follow human rights criteria

19 Jan 2021, 00:26

  DF Report

Press Release File Photo: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The majority of Finnish companies are generally committed to respecting human rights. However, only a quarter of companies systematically and publicly assess the impact of their business activities on the realisation of human rights.

The result is in line with the international average, according to a government analysis, assessment and research report published by the SIHTI Project on Monday, said the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in a press release.

The SIHTI Project examined how Finnish companies are fulfilling their human rights responsibilities in relation to expectations set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The research was carried out in 2020 by the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration (Hanken), FIANT Consulting Oy, 3bility Consulting, and the Human Rights Centre.

The report found that a general commitment to human rights led only a quarter of companies to implement and monitor their human rights responsibilities systematically.

Finnish companies also publish little information on the actions they take to fulfil their responsibilities.

“The situation clearly leaves room for improvement, but the state of implementation of the human rights responsibilities of Finnish companies is largely at the same level as was found in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark’s global assessments,” said Project Leader Nikodemus Solitander.

The assessment focused on 78 Finnish companies. Of these, 29 companies were assessed using the sector-specific Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) methodology and 49 according to the 0indicators set in the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP).

The realisation of corporate responsibility for human rights was assessed based on publicly available information, which is in line with the CHRB methodology. The project also included interviews with 20 representatives of companies on the challenges involved in communicating information on corporate responsibility for human rights.