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By Christopher Cox, Human Thread Campaign
Two weeks ago, Frank Sherman and I participated in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Program Strategy Week. The Program Directors met with their Work groups in NYC to evaluate the progress over the past year and chart out a path forward for the 2018-19 corporate engagement season. This article will summarize the human rights/human trafficking session.
Estimates indicate that 27 million victims fall prey to trafficking and slavery each year and that it is a global trade valued at $32 billion dollars. But due to the clandestine nature of these crimes and the reluctance of victims to speak out because they live in fear of physical retribution and/or deportation, trafficking and slavery are typically very difficult to uncover and prosecute. Through the Human Rights/Human Trafficking (HR/HT) Work Group, ICCR members ask the companies they hold to adopt human rights policies that formally recognize human trafficking and slavery and to train their personnel and their suppliers to safeguard against these risks throughout their supply chains. Human rights provides an umbrella for all ICCR efforts.
The day prior to our session, the Alliance met as well. It will take some time to define action that corresponds to IAHR or to the HR/HT work group as both groups are concerned with issues that overlap. The Alliance has three components: Human rights responsibilities of investors, collective action, and multi-stakeholder engagement.
- Promotes implementation of human rights due diligence by companies
- Encourages the creation of enabling environment for responsible business conduct through awareness raising, standard setting, and regulatory development – states, multi-lateral institutions, the UN, development banks and, of course, investors
- Encourages engaged companies to develop and strengthen activities and process to provide remedy
- Builds partnerships with business community, NGOs, trade unions, local communities and others to leverage this work
It seems likely that the IAHR will focus, this year, on Banking and Tech sectors as it relates to salient human rights issues. Again, it will take some time to develop the necessary coordination between the efforts of IAHR and ICCR working groups.
Read the rest of the article at Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investing’s website.
Fr Séamus Finn and ICCR members attend Faith and Finance Conference in Zug, Switzerland November 2nd, 2017
Fr Séamus Finn OMI, chair of the board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, recently addressed the Faith and Finance Conference, hosted at the LaSalle Haus in Zug, Switzerland. In his remarks, Fr Séamus talked briefly about the origins of ICCR more than 45 years ago and the historic legacy that the organization, through its more than 300 faith-based institutional investors, have achieved through a strategy of consistent substantive engagement with publicly traded corporations.
This engagement strategy is rooted in the rights and responsibilities that all investors assume when they invest in corporations, informed through the extensive networks that faith traditions have throughout the world and guided by the moral and ethical principles that are grounded in the teachings of their respective traditions. Over the past 45 years, ICCR members and colleagues have been at the forefront of drawing attention to the consequences of many destructive and dangerous products and abusive policies and been successful in recalling corporations to their social purpose, providing avenues for advocacy and redress to victims, and awakening the conscience of other shareholders.
The conference in Zug was a unique opportunity to share this story with representatives of many faith institutions and organizations from diverse traditions around the world and to discuss avenues for increased strategic collaboration.
Investors and Public Health Groups Voice Support for Affordable Care Act January 18th, 2017
Amid calls from some lawmakers and the President-elect for an immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a coalition of 119 faith- and values-based investors and public health groups strongly defended the gains made under the law and urged restraint.
In a letter sent today to President-elect Trump and members of Congress, the group, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, praised the expansion of quality and affordable health insurance under the ACA to more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans, and warned that a repeal of the health care law would have a “destabilizing effect on jobs, businesses and our economy, and would further jeopardize the health and financial security of millions of Americans”.
Read the full article on Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility’s (ICCR) website.
Fr. Seamus Finn Comments on Wells Fargo’s Business Standards December 12th, 2016
ICCR members continue to press Wells Fargo on addressing ethical dimensions of their vision and values statement and strengthening a culture that prioritizes true customer service and the common good as priorities.
Sr Nora Nash OSF and Fr Séamus Finn OMI speak to Business Ethics on what Wells Fargo needs to do. http://business-ethics.com/2016/12/10/where-wells-fargo-goes-from-here/
Where You Bank Matters April 20th, 2016
Where You Bank Matters, by Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI
In collaboration with the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC), ICCR sponsored an informative and engaging roundtable on sustainable banking at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio on April 6th. The idea for the roundtable was part of the vision and mission of the ICCR financial services caucus and was realized when the group found an accomplished and energetic partner in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
PBS interviews ICCR leadership for segment on corporate responsibility January 12th, 2016
PBS recently conducted interviews with Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) leadership, including Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI (ICCR’s board chairman), Cathy Rowan and David Schilling for a piece on faith-based groups and their work around corporate responsibility. Watch the 8-minute segment here.