ImpACT tells Human Rights Council that corporations must collaborate with governments to alleviate poverty

ImpACT tells Human Rights Council that corporations must collaborate with governments to alleviate poverty

The global COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating a poverty rater that was already 9.4 per cent before the crisis hit. It’s a problem too large and complex for governments to tackle on their own, however, ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies calls on corporations worldwide to step up to the plate to be part of the solution.

Alleviating poverty must be a collective effort, and the involvement of the private sector is now critical more than ever

- Ottavia Ciani, ImpACT International researcher

The pandemic has swelled the ranks of the unemployed by more than 23.7 million people,” Ottavia Ciani, ImpACT International researcher, told the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council. “The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights emphasise the importance of corporate social responsibility, and it’s particularly critical now. It will take years to redress the damage wrought, and the private sector must work with governments to assure that sustainable growth is restored.”

However, the vast majority of large companies do not demonstrate a substantive interest in serving marginalised communities. When corporate social-responsibility programmes exist, they serve primarily public-relations purposes, catering to customers, employees and investors. They are either unaware of the vital role they can play alleviating poverty in their countries of operation or do not think it is their responsibility.

Therefore, ImpACT International calls on the UN Human Rights Council to urge member states to urge their private sectors to shoulder their social responsibility and join them in working to alleviate poverty.

“This must be a collective effort, and the involvement of the private sector is now critical more than ever,” said Ciani.

 

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