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Article

27 Oct 2021

Author:
UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights

Call for input: Ensuring business respect for human rights in the political and regulatory sphere and preventing "corporate capture" (deadline: 18 Nov)

Background

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (“the Working Group”) is developing an information note to examine links between corporate political engagement practices and responsible business conduct. Specifically, the information note will explore how to encourage responsible political engagement, how to prevent what constitutes undue political influence by businesses— sometimes termed “corporate capture”—and how such activities may undermine and be inconsistent with the corporate responsibility to respect human rights set out by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...

The note will address how businesses should account for this responsibility and exercise human rights due diligence (HRDD) when engaging in a variety of activities in the political sphere – from lobbying to political donations to decisions about whether to speak publicly about policy debates that may impact their employees and other members of their community. The note will focus on how HRDD can identify negative impacts for people and planet resulting from corporate political engagement activities and good practices in terms of how to prevent and mitigate such impacts. The note will aim to create greater coherence between businesses’ commitments to respect human rights and their political and lobbying activities, which are not always in alignment.

To help inform its analysis, the Working Group invites all interested parties to submit written inputs. The below questions provide a guide for structuring inputs, but the Working Group also welcomes inputs on other relevant aspects, as well as submissions of pre-existing written output from individuals and organizations (civil society reports, academic journal articles, etc.). Inputs should be sent to [email protected] with subject line “Survey inputs: corporate political engagement.” Please make submissions no later than November 18, 2021...