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Companies should move quickly to incorporate human rights policy into their business operations, advises Yulia Levashova, Assistant Professor at Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

According to Levashova, this is a logical as well as moral step, to comply with tightening international regulations, avoid human rights-related lawsuits by NGOs which can cause reputational damage, and maintain a competitive edge.

She recommends business leaders develop a comprehensive understanding of key issues that fall under the umbrella of ESG and human rights, such as due diligence, human risks related to foreign direct investment and climate change-related regulatory risks.

Organizations should start implementing human rights due diligence in their supply chains as soon as possible, in order to keep abreast of new European corporate social responsibility (CSR) enforcement measures and maintain their competitive edge, she believes.

According to Levashova, business leaders can benefit from lifewide learning at higher education institutions. For example, several specialised short courses focusing on helping leaders integrate human rights standards in their business operations have been developed at Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

“The business world’s compliance with human rights is no longer a voluntary option. Numerous authoritative international codes and guidelines specify CSR obligations for companies, such as the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the UN Global Compact. The growing role of mandatory compliance requires swift action from companies to stay competitive and socially responsible in a changing market,” she says.


For more information, or to speak to Yulia Levashova, contact Chloe Lane at BlueSky PR on

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