Today marks an important day for CSR practitioners, government officials, academics and corporations. Personally, as a member of STR-RS’s Risk Services team, April 8, 2011 will drastically affect the next year of my life. Today the US Department of State releases its' 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
According to the State Dept, these reports "cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Although many organizations endeavor to accomplish similar tasks, this is the sole report covering over 190 countries and updated annually with significant rights-related events from the prior year. Reviewing these reports year to year can offer valuable insight into a country's progress or digression in relation to promoting respect for human rights.
STR-RS’s consulting services are heavily informed by the report, which provides an important means for advising our clients on countries, regions, industries, products, and suppliers. By combining the annually updated report with STR-RS’s extensive audit database, we are able to produce a near infinite combination of comparisons and trend analyses related to CSR performance the world over.
For example, by combining the country level information garnered from review of the Human Rights report with STR-RS’s cache of country audit grades, we have been able to produce, since 2005, the Country Risk Index. This index ranks over 190 countries according to social, economic, and political factors on both the country and factory specific level in order to advise sourcing decisions, supplier segmentation, and allocation of audit resources. We also use the Country Reports to develop our Country Risk Profiles, which draw an overall picture of the most egregious human rights violations and explain them through analysis of audit violation data.
Both as a general means for understanding human rights conditions at the country level and as a tool to stay afloat in the ever changing landscape of globalization, the reports serve as an incredible resource for the CSR industry. As you can see, we use the reports for our risk related projects and as internal training tools. We recommend applying the reports as a means for surveying supply chain programs and targeting identified issues. Used in conjunction with reports put out by NGOs and internal data, the reports can serve as a useful tool for any multi-national company.