-An analysis carried out by the Spanish Global Compact Network shows a positive trend in recent years, but 16 of the 35 companies do not have this mechanism yet.

-Only 10 organizations indicate in their sustainability report that they are carrying out a due diligence process to evaluate their performance in this area.

– Although 23 companies analyse the involvement of their suppliers, only 12 of them report on their impacts.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes individual freedoms and the right to an adequate standard of living for all people throughout the world, is celebrating its 70th anniversary. A milestone that invites to reflect on the achivements, but also leads to the study of the challenges that still remains. Challenges such as inequality, the management of natural resources or the cross-cutting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDS), which require the action of all social agents and, especially, of the business network.

In this sense, the big companies of our country are undergoing important advances. In fact, 19 IBEX 35 companies, which represent 54% of the total, already have their own human rights policy. This figure still offers a considerable projection, but it shows a growing trend if we take into account that in 2017 the number of companies was 14 and 11 in 2016. This is extracted from an analysis carried out by the Spanish Global Compact Network based on the sustainability reports of the IBEX 35 companies.

Another factor that shows the growing commitment of the private sector to fundamental rights is the fact that 15 of the 35 IBEX35 companies report evaluations of their impacts on human rights issues. In 2017 this figure stood at 12, while in 2016 there were only 8 companies conducting these examinations. However, despite this progress, currently only 10 companies indicate in their sustainability report that they are carrying out a due diligence process to evaluate their performance. There is also an improvement here – in 2017 there were 7; and in 2016, 4 -, but the gap between the examination and the systematization of identification, prevention, mitigation and accountability is considerable.

The study by the Spanish Global Compact Network goes further and breaks down a series of elements that help to translate the commitment of the business world to the application of human rights. At this point, the implication of the supply chain stands out, an area on which 23 IBEX 35 companies are already working through the control of their suppliers. An action that becomes very significant, as large companies act as prescribers and references for other smaller ones. Despite of that, only 12 of these entities report on whether impacts have been identified as a result of these evaluations. In the same vein, internal awareness is equally relevant, but 19 of the 35 companies analysed (54.3%) do not express in their reports any type of training in this area. This indicator remains the same as last year, although it has fallen back from 2016, when it stood at 45%.

On the other hand, the internationalization processes of many companies are in a period of accelerating. A reality that forces us to focus on another risk: the violation of the rights of the local population. Thus, regarding the 28 of the 35 IBEX corporations that have activities in countries with indigenous peoples, only 36% of them provide information about their impact on them.

According to the data, our country’s large corporations are experiencing considerable progresses. However, there is a significant room for improvement. "We are confident that the next reactivation of the National Business and Human Rights Action Plan will help to encourage organizations to improve human rights management," explains Cristina Sanchez, deputy director of the Spanish Global Compact Network, in this regard.

An anniversary to celebrate and reflect on

With the intention of strengthen the commitment of the private sector and other social agents, the Spanish Global Compact Network has wanted to give visibility to the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights with a series of special actions, including the dissemination on social networks of graphics that expose the relationship between the SDG’s and the human rights with the hashtag #DDHHyEmpresas. This action joins other initiatives promoted from the international network, such as the website promoted by the United Nations Human Rights Office to provide a detailed analysis of each of the 30 articles that make up the document.