Due Diligence of Human Rights
Wolfenson Lawyers is a pioneering law firm in Chile in the advice and legal preparation of Due Diligence in matters of Human Rights.
In an increasingly complex world, where the standards of the law - many times - are not sufficient to respect the greatest guarantees established by international human rights organizations, it is vital for a company to review its internal and external functioning to seek comply with significant international agreements.
It is for this reason that our lawyers have focused on the systematic study of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Human Rights), which the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) endorsed in its resolution 17 /4.
These Guiding Principles are contained in three main pillars: the obligation of the States to promote and protect human rights, the responsibility of companies to respect them wherever they operate and the obligation to repair or remedy, to individuals and various instances, the abuse and the damages caused by one and the other through their omissions or actions, direct or indirect.
To achieve the highest compliance in this matter, our professionals rely on a framed process of interviews, analysis of field work, internal inspection of the company and external of it, by studying the operation of its suppliers, among other measures. Work that crystallizes in a report that certifies compliance with the highest standards in the world for a company, improving its reputation nationally and internationally and preventing possible infractions in the field of human rights.
Here is a legal guide to provide you with guidance on Human Rights Due Diligence:
What are the first steps before conducting a Human Rights Due Diligence?
The due diligence process It constitutes the mechanism that companies must resort to in order to apply their will to respect human rights .
Before starting a due diligence process in any organization, the unequivocal definition of a corporate human rights policy must be made, as stated in Guiding Principle 16 .
A policy that is approved at the highest management level of the company ; is based on specialized legal advice ; establish what the company expects in relation to human rights from its stakeholders ; it is public and disseminated, and is reflected in other necessary operational policies and procedures.
The impacts of business practices on human rights should also be evaluated through an analysis of the factors that affect and that may affect the full enjoyment of these rights by workers , clients, the links in the value chain, or communities that are in the area of influence of the company .
What should you pay attention to when conducting a Human Rights Due Diligence?
The company must pay special attention to carry out an integration of human rights policies within the company , and subsequently follow its performance, monitoring and auditing the processes.
Not all organizations will use a single formula to achieve due diligence , although its main elements (evaluation, integration and action, monitoring and communication) together with the repair processes , provide the management of any company with the necessary scenario to know, and demonstrate that you are respecting human rights in practice .
Based on the aforementioned impact assessment, the following steps should focus on the classification of possible measures to be put in place, the implementation of a roadmap for prevention and mitigation, control and follow-up, and communication and accountability. of accounts .
What measures are usually taken when conducting Human Rights Due Diligence?
The classification of measures to be implemented will lead to the design of a roadmap to integrate different change projects aimed at reducing future impacts on human rights and mitigating risks by incorporating formulas for the protection of rights in management systems and decision-making processes. of decisions .
As before, the roadmap will be specific to each company and will determine the short and long-term objectives, an initial timeline and who is responsible for supervising and implementing the necessary measures to achieve the established objectives .
An operational plan document must be prepared in an accessible format that allows progressing progressively, what the OECD calls “sequencing responses”, in those cases where not all impacts can be responded to at once.
These actions will probably involve making changes in the way of approaching some business activities ; having to train workers on particular risks; increase media supervision and other sources of information on human rights ; formalize new strategies, or join global or sectoral initiatives , among others.
The last step in the process is the establishment of a communication and information system to the outside of the company aimed at external interest groups , mainly Public Administration, civil society and citizens in general .
The company must report clearly, precisely and completely on how it has addressed the negative impacts on human rights in all its operations and business relationships , this disclosure of information being a way to demonstrate its commitment to socially acceptable practices.
Through accountability , the organization must report on the negative impacts that are causing damage to the social and environmental environment , and the measures being taken to repair the damage .
Wolfenson Abogados provides legal advice of excellence in matters of due diligence.
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If you need more information and legal advice regarding Human Rights Due Diligence, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Avenida Apoquindo 2930 in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.