Incorporating human rights into investment strategies
March 25: FIDH ranks the 28 EU Member States on the basis of 67 human rights and 17 environmental indicators, in a useful guide for responsible investors said in a study released on Tuesday. The study “EU Member States under the Spotlight” encourages investors in sovereign bond markets to invest in human rights respecting states.
In the global movement towards the inclusion of environmental and social criteria in business decisions, FIDH’s work is designed to be a tool for investors and citizens. It allows them to compare states’ records regarding the respect and promotion of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The study finds that north-European States are monopolizing the first places of the ranking, with Sweden, Finland and Denmark at the top, followed by Slovenia and France. The 12 human rights criteria include gender equality, labour rights, freedom of expression, rights of migrants or promotion of human rights abroad.
As a result of this extensive research carried out in collaboration with researchers from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, FIDH also wishes to appeal to European and national institutions to better measure states’ human rights impacts. The study revealed that states lacked adequate data collection systems that would allow them to monitor their own performance in meeting international human rights obligations, including in key areas such as protection of privacy in the digital age or the fight against racial discrimination.
“This study subjects the issuers of state bonds, central to portfolio management, to the most rigorous and complete evaluation of human rights commitments,” said Debbie Stothard, Secretary-General of FIDH.
“Through this study, FIDH wishes to feed into the reflection and debate about how states should report on their efforts and impacts regarding human rights, both at home and abroad,” said Geneviève Paul, Director of FIDH’s Globalisation and Human Rights Programme.“As Europe faces increasing challenges in the context of economic, social and cultural rights as well as for civil and political rights, it is increasingly urgent for states to be able to assess their ability to fulfill their obligations. Being able to measure how human rights are respected is the responsibility of states.”
The Oslo Times