Creative leverage: Human rights action in business


With a context focus on Asia, this session will unveil innovative strategies for businesses to effect change within their corporate relationships, broader industry or community networks, and State actors. Our expert panelists will share practical and relevant examples of creative ways a business can effect change within its value chain and business relationships. These strategies are not only to respond to actual or potential risks that the business might be involved in through its involvement with other entities, but also to ensure that the business is operating in an environment that enables it to respect human rights.

Leveraging influence, as defined by the UNGPs, refers to the ability of a business enterprise to effect change in the wrongful practices of another party that is causing or contributing to an adverse human rights impact. Principle 19 empowers businesses to foster environments where human rights are respected and upheld.

Even when a company does not cause or contribute to harm itself, international standards and stakeholders expect the company to use its influence—also known as leverage—to encourage others to act. Creative leverage means innovating new ways to deploy influence, beyond financial or material incentives, to promote an ecosystem that supports human rights.

In a world where businesses play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping societies and economies, their influence spans across borders and industries. This influence is not limited to the products and services they provide but extends to the fabric of economies. The globalized nature of today's business means that the positive influence of a single company and collective action contribute to rights-respecting economies, impacting countless lives globally.

Can your business be counted among those upholding universally accepted human rights and leveraging influence across business relationships?