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Workshop on the investor responsibility to respect human rights
On June 20, the Investor Alliance hosted a workshop on the topic of the investor responsibility to respect human rights. The workshop provided a platform for interactive and collaborative exchange between investment groups and human rights organizations while building the capacity of participants on the topic of investor responsibility. Find a summary of the workshop discussion here

Ranking Digital Rights (RDR)
RDR released its 2019 Corporate Accountability Index, which evaluates 24 internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on their freedom of expression and privacy policies and practices. 

The Investor Alliance attended the RightsCon conference hosted in Tunisia by Access Now in June. Nearly 3,000 participants attended and some 450 sessions were hosted on a range of tech sector topics. Director Paloma Muñoz Quick spoke during the Opening Plenary on the importance of investor-civil society collaboration and led a panel discussion, Responsible Investing 101: Investor Action on Human Rights in the Digital Era, alongside members Robeco, Sycomore Asset Management, and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. Find the RightsCon Tunis 2019 Learnings here.  

OECD meetings
In June, the Investor Alliance participated in a series of OECD-related meetings in Bangkok with partners and allies. Associate Director Sara Blackwell led a session on investor engagement and collaboration during the OECD Watch Global Civil Society Gathering and spoke on the panel New Norms and New Technologies: AI, Privacy Protection, Cybersecurity, and Beyond at the OECD Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum

The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)
DIHR has released a discussion paper on how companies can take an integrated approach between the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda. They also released a publication, Respecting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Due Diligence Checklist for Companies, that instructs companies on proper due diligence where projects may affect indigenous peoples.

In June, UNICEF released a briefing, Why Businesses Should Invest in Digital Child Safety, that includes a Child Online Safety Assessment Tool to help companies understand and assess the impact of technologies on children’s rights. The briefing also offers instructions and advice on working with ICT companies to assess and integrate children’s rights throughout digital operations and policies.

Sector-wide risk assessment of the ICT sector
The Investor Alliance has published its latest ICT salient issue briefing on conflict and security, produced in collaboration with the Heartland Initiative. It includes information on relevant international human rights standards, a summary of reported adverse human rights impacts, the business case for addressing this issue, and guiding questions to support investor engagement with companies.

Fast and Fair Renewable Energy: A Practical Guide for Investors
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre released a guide for investors on how to responsibly address climate change and avoid risk while promoting respect for human rights in the energy sector. The briefing highlights human rights risks and impacts for wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower and includes key questions for investors to ask when investing in renewable energy.

Webinar on artificial intelligence and human rights due diligence
With the goal of helping investors engage companies on the human rights risks of artificial intelligence (AI), the Investor Alliance hosted a webinar on what it means to take a human rights-based approach to AI. Dunstan Allison-Hope, Managing Director at BSR, joined us as an expert speaker. 

Recent AI resources include:

UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights
The Investor Alliance will host a session at this year's UN Annual Forum in Geneva, which is taking place November 25-27. The session, “A 'Smart Mix’ for Responsible Investment: The Role of Government in Ensuring Investor Respect for Human Rights," seeks to highlight the leadership of our members, civil society allies, and government actors in promoting responsible investment decision-making on a global stage. 

Review of the Equator Principles
The Investor Alliance is currently involved in several efforts to push for greater alignment across the latest draft of the Equator Principles (EP4) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Equator Principles (EPs) are a social and environmental risk management framework adopted by banks and other financial institutions and are intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence and monitoring to support responsible risk decision-making, primarily for project finance. In its current form, the draft fails to meet the standards laid out by the UN Guiding Principles.

  • Sign-on to our investor submission that lays out our key recommendations for revising the current draft toward better alignment. The submission can be found here and the sign-on form is here. The deadline for sign-on is August 6.
  • The final webinar consultation for the EP4 review process will be held on August 6. We encourage all members to attend the webinar consultation (register here) and echo the submission’s key recommendations where possible.
  • Investor Alliance members are coordinating on direct investor outreach to signatory financial institutions on the submission's recommendations in lead-up to the signatories' vote on EP4 in November. Please let Sara Blackwell and Mary Beth Gallagher know if you are interested in joining this advocacy group.
For more information, view our Webinar on Equator Principles 4: A Human Rights Perspective, which was co-organized with the Investors & Indigenous Peoples Working Group (IIPG) and featured expert speakers Anita Ramasastry, member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, and Carla Fredericks, Director of First Peoples Worldwide. Members Steven Heim of Boston Common Asset Management and Delaney Greig of SHARE provided investor insights during the session.
Not yet a member? Join the Investor Alliance by clicking here.
If you would like to be added to the Investor Alliance general mailing list or the ICT and Human Rights mailing list and monthly calls, please contact Paloma Muñoz Quick.  
Copyright © 2019, Investor Alliance for Human Rights. All rights reserved.

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Investor Alliance for Human Rights · 475 Riverside Dr Ste 1842 · New York, NY 10115-0034 · USA

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