Jan 212015

By Ryan Brightwell, BankTrack. Originally published on Righting Finance, 13 January 2015.

Last month in Geneva, at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, BankTrack launched a research report examining the performance of 32 large global banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We developed 12 criteria, each closely based on the text of the Guiding Principles themselves, to assess where banks were making progress in implementing the Guiding Principles and where there were gaps, three and a half years on from their adoption by the Human Rights Council. So far, so uncontroversial, one may think.

However, the Thun Group of Banks, the informal discussion group of banks on human rights, responded to say that the exercise itself was “premature” – at least in its attempts to examine whether banks were meeting their obligations to provide access to remedy to victims of human rights abuse. Continue reading »

Dec 122013

By Ryan Brightwell, BankTrack, 12 December 2013

From the 2nd to the 4th of December, some 1,700 delegates from around the world descended on Geneva for the second UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. Gathering underneath the Spanish artist Miguel Barcelo’s stunning ceiling, representatives of states, business and civil society spent three days discussing the state of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a non-binding global standard for preventing human rights abuses by business adopted unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council two years ago.

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