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UN Global Compact Network Canada calls on companies to join the Business & Human Rights Accelerator

Learning programme aims to help companies move from commitment to action on human rights and labour rights

Toronto  - The UN Global Compact Network Canada has today launched the Business & Human Rights Accelerator, a six-month learning programme to equip companies with the tools and knowledge they need to establish an ongoing human rights due diligence process and ensure they are meeting their responsibility to respect human rights. This robust corporate human rights due diligence process shifts companies from a “risks to business” to a “risks to people” approach.

The Business & Human Rights Accelerator will help companies understand when, where and how business impacts human rights. They learn how to prioritize the most salient issues for action while identifying the most appropriate measures to mitigate risks, track the effectiveness of their efforts and communicate effectively to stakeholders about their progress.  Participants receive an assessment of their company's actual and potential adverse human rights impacts. They also build an action plan so they can return to work with the goal of putting their learnings into practice to drive change. Lastly, they'll build an invaluable network of peers, UN partners and experts that will inspire them to shape their human rights journey and advance a global movement. 

“Business, whether directly or indirectly, impacts almost the entire spectrum of internationally recognized human rights. It impacts the human rights of employees and contract workers, workers in their supply chains, the communities around their operations and even the end users of their products and services. By completing the Business & Human Rights Accelerator, companies will not only learn how to reduce or prevent negative human rights impacts but also build a competitive advantage by ultimately becoming a powerful force for good,” said Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General; Executive Director & CEO of the UN Global Compact.

“The Business & Human Rights Accelerator offers Canadian businesses the roadmap to shift from awareness to real-world action, placing human rights firmly in their operational strategies. Together, we are shaping a Canadian corporate culture where the rights and dignity of people stand paramount." – Elizabeth Dove, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Canada.

Almost half (46.2%) of the world's largest companies, assessed by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark in 2020 in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, failed to provide evidence of addressing human rights issues in their supply chains. Assessments by benchmark and ranking initiatives suggest that the majority of companies worldwide aren't upholding practices that align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This discrepancy could imply that despite increased awareness and commitment, risks to workers and communities aren't being appropriately managed.

The Business & Human Rights Accelerator aims to engage 450 companies, including SMEs, across industries in more than 30 countries. Companies of all sizes are encouraged to apply for the accelerator programme at here

About UN Global Compact Network Canada

Established in June 2013, the UN Global Compact Network Canada emerged as the Local Network of the UN Global Compact in Canada. Local Network Canada operates as an integral part of the UN Global Compact, committed to supporting Canadian organizations in their efforts to promote the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and effectively implement the Sustainable Develoment Goals. By fostering collaboration among multiple stakeholders, UN Global Compact Network Canada serves as a unifying force, enhancing the capabilities of the Canadian private sector to adopt sustainable business practices. This entails convening and expediting opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration, thereby facilitating the advancement of sustainable development objectives. For more information, follow us on LinkedIn or visit our website

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

06 September 2023

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