As part of its human rights due diligence, the company should talk to a wide range of stakeholders to help it to:
- accurately identify human rights risks and impacts, and take effective action to address them
- understand how stakeholders perceive the actions the company takes to manage and mitigate risks and track their effectiveness, and
- integrate these insights into company decision making and practices.
Different types of stakeholders offer different perceptions of company activities and impacts. They include:
- people directly affected by a company’s activities, such as staff, workers in the supply chain and their union representatives, local communities and their leaders
- experts who understand the perspectives and concerns of local groups, such as local non-governmental organisations and researchers, and
- experts who understand human rights issues in a particular industry or in high-risk geographical regions, such as national and international non-governmental organisations and trade unions, and socially responsible investors, lawyers and consultants.
The board should ensure that the company’s engagement strategy:
- encourages openness to engaging with all stakeholder groups, including critics
- creates channels for communication with groups that lack influence but may be more vulnerable to impacts
- builds constructive relationships for dialogue rather than engaging only when it serves the company
- is delivered by staff with the right skills to communicate effectively
- supports the integration of stakeholder feedback into company decision making, and
- involves stakeholders affected by human rights risks in the design and promotion of the company’s arrangements for dealing with complaints and grievances.
Last updated: 13 May 2016