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New assurance guidance from Mazars and Shift puts human rights at the heart of corporate governance debate

02/10/2017

​New guidance helps internal auditors and external assurance practitioners assess companies’ human rights performance and reporting.

As businesses become increasingly accountable for their wider impact on society, Mazars and Shift have launched comprehensive assurance guidance on human rights, for the first time giving businesses a clear direction on how to assess their human rights credentials in line with international standards.

The Guidance supports the 2015 UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, the world’s only reporting framework for companies that is wholly aligned with the authoritative UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It will help internal auditors to assure companies’ human rights performance, and support external assurance providers as they oversee the assurance of companies’ human rights reporting.  It was developed over several years by Praxity participant firm Mazars, and leading business and human rights non-profit Shift.

Richard Karmel, Head of Human Rights Services at Mazars, said: “The EU now requires company boards of all EU public companies with over 500 employees to know how their organisations are identifying and addressing risks to human rights. Their investors, their customers and their employees have a right to know about the progress they are making: it is no longer enough to say ‘I wasn’t aware.’

“Such demands make internal audit and external audit assurance functions more important than ever. Importantly, the Global and Chartered Institutes of Internal Auditors have given full backing to this Guidance. As professional advisers, we can no longer skirt around the issue of human rights, but must instead integrate it effectively within our professional skill-sets: this Guidance will help make that possible.”

You can read more here and access the Guidance directly here.

Praxity firms have long been involved in shaping debate and good practice in the human rights field and you can read more in the following features:

Human rights in the modern business landscape

It’s time to take human rights seriously​ 

Look out for an update in the next edition of HUB magazine, available later this month.

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