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You know that feeling when you have so much to say, and you don’t know where to start? A little like the Old Sailor poem by AA Milne (which by the way, I think a lot about when I have to tackle an issue, and there are so many prongs to tackle at once that I’m not sure which one to start with.)
It’s our first time taking a summer break like this from the weekly updates, and we have so many updates, we don’t know where to start! So let me instead highlight three things for you here - and say simply: we’re pleased to be back with you.
Welcome to a new season of impact, of change, of resilience, and of pushing for stronger human rights respect.
We can, and we will, make progress - together.
- We have just lived our hottest summer season on record, ever, and by a large margin. 🌇 The 2023 June-July-August (JJA) season had an average temperature of 16.77°C, 0.66°C above average. We have also seen record-breaking high sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic and the global ocean. Take a look at the diagrams below, and you’ll see this in perspective. (Source: The Copernicus Programme). What this climate crisis means for human rights would take up the whole listserv so let me instead highlight here a fascinating and forward-focused panel discussion I was on at the IHRB/AIM Progress Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment on climate change, migration and what this means for business. You can read my remarks, as well as those from fellow panelists Nicole Munns from Justice & Care, Pablo Escribano from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Rachel Rigby from Rainforest Alliance, and Louise Herring from AIM-Progress.
- The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) are now out! 📕 Approved by the European Commission on 31st July 2023, these standards are to be used by all companies subject to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). In total, that is 50,000 companies in the EU, and at least 100,000 companies outside the EU. The ESRS take a “double materiality” perspective – they oblige companies to report both on how social and environmental issues create financial risks and opportunities for the company, as well as on their impacts on people and the environment. The ESRS align closely with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and should be interpreted in this light. Check out this new Shift series for more on this.
- Do you sometimes think about what’s happening to people in Myanmar? 🤔 I do, often. I often think of the workers I’ve met there and wonder how they are doing. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre responds to this question with its research released this summer which finds that “gender-based violence, wage violations, inhumane working conditions and attacks on freedom of association are endemic throughout the country and on the rise.” H&M is the latest company to announce its gradual withdrawal from Myanmar.
Ok, so to come back to the Old Sailor poem, the takeaway is that sometimes you just have to start somewhere. But also, it's good to know when to stop. That’s it for a Friday afternoon. We look forward to seeing you again next week!