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Allen & Overy publishes sixth edition of The Business and Human Rights Review

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10 December 2018

Allen & Overy’s Human Rights Working Group is delighted to publish the sixth edition of The Business and Human Rights Review.  

Against a backdrop of increasing scrutiny on businesses’ supply chains and global operations, this edition of The Business and Human Rights Review considers recent regulatory developments and the measures taken by corporations to address human rights risks. 

As politicians, NGOs and members of the public demand greater transparency in supply chains, the Review brings together diverse voices to discuss the role that business can, and often must, play in protecting, respecting and promoting human rights across the world.

This edition of the Review begins with a reflection on recent developments and key trends in corporate human rights due diligence, the focus of this year’s UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, and suggests steps which businesses should consider taking in response. 

To provide an example of how businesses can set about making changes to promote human rights, the Review contains an interview with Dr. Darian McBain of Thai Union, who describes how technological innovation is being used to protect the human rights of workers at sea. Further industry insight is provided in a separate article by Annika Ramsköld and Esther Rodriguez of Vattenfall – a Swedish energy company – who describe how the company has carried out an investigation into its supply chain as a means of determining and managing the human rights risks within the business.

One of the key motivations for examining human rights practices within a business’s supply chain is fear of negative media publicity and the consequent impact on the reputation of a corporation. An interview with Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, discusses the interface between journalists, consumers and corporations in relation to human rights, and the benefits available to businesses if they proactively engage with human rights. 

Of course, as well as adverse media publicity, corporations may also be subject to judicial penalties for failing to report on their human rights practices, and the Review concludes with updates on developments in modern slavery legislation in both Hong Kong and Australia. 

Suzanne Spears, Business and Human Rights partner in Allen & Overy’s London office, comments that “A common theme which runs through each of the contributions to this edition is the importance of dialogue and cooperation between different stakeholders – whether they are NGOs, consumers, legislators or corporations. We hope this publication contributes to, and provides a platform for, this continuing dialogue.” 

Download the latest Business and Human Rights Review here. 

For further information on this publication or the issues raised in it, please contact the editorial board at


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Allen & Overy publishes the fifth issue of The Business and Human Rights Review

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