The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Global Compact Network UK have published guidance aimed at helping Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMAs) and finance professionals across the world support their organisations in upholding human rights.
The guidance, called Business and Human Rights: Evolution and Acceptance, aims to provide finance professionals with a clearer understanding of the nuanced demands of being human rights aware and compliant by showing examples of how to put the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into practice. For example, using case studies and step-by-step guidance it highlights, what investments may need to be made, to maintain or achieve respect for human rights across the organisation to safeguard operations and reputation.
CIMA Head of Ethics Tanya Barman said, “Businesses should strive to be ahead of regulation, rather than rushing to catch up. They need to proactively protect their social license to operate and our guidance is designed to help them do that. Most importantly, business leaders need to ensure they encourage their employees to recognise their own agency and responsibility in this area. To achieve full human rights compliance the message needs to be consistent and constant.”
Global Compact Network UK Head of Insight and Capacity Désirée Abrahams said, “At the heart of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is an expectation that companies must ‘know and show’ how they are addressing the human rights impacts arising from their business activity. In order to do this effectively, companies need to consider human rights in all aspects of their business.
Practically, this means that each business function should consider how its way of working may adversely impact the rights of affected stakeholders and then take steps to develop new ways of working. Business and Human Rights: Evolution and Acceptance does just that. It highlights how a management accountant’s role can embed human rights and identifies simple measures that CGMAs can adopt to ensure their companies are executing policies and practices that integrate human rights.”