Protecting Civic Rights

Around the world, fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat. These restrictions of civic rights jeopardize the ability of business, journalists, citizens, youth movements and others to speak out on critical issues.

Where civic openness is fostered, however, societies flourish and economies grow. The respect and protection of civic rights by both business and government represents a commitment to economic growth and well-being—and a critical contribution to democratic values and a reinforced social contract. We’re calling on businesses with long-term interest in sustainability to recognize this and join the call to protect these inalienable rights.

Take Action

Learn More About The Business Case for Respecting Civic Rights

Where civic rights are under threat, it is in the interest of companies to speak out, step in or act. The Business Case for Protecting Civic Rights shows why.

Read more

Join The Business Network on Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders

The Business Network is a collaboration of multinational companies that provides a space for trusted discussion between companies, human rights experts and international organizations. Join us and help build ways for companies to take action when civic rights are at risk.

Read more

Given the increasing vulnerability of human rights defenders and shrinking space where they can operate safely, business has a role and a responsibility to defend and promote fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Paul Polman, Chair, The B Team, Member, Governance Working Group and CEO (2009-2018), Unilever

Learn More on Governance

Preventing Corruption

Building transparency in business structures and government contracting for better public accountability.
Read more

Advancing Responsible Tax Practice

Raising the bar on responsible tax policy and practice and contributing to a fairer future tax system.
Read more

Related thinking

What Does It Look Like When Business Leaders and Human Rights Defenders Work Together?

“Where we see the truth, then remedy is possible. But if you skewer the truth, it is easy to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’”- Sharan Burr...
Read more

It’s Time for Business to Stand Up for Human Rights

By Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation—Climate Justice, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Former Pre...
Read more

The Business Case for Protecting Civic Rights

Around the world, citizens are increasingly silenced, social movements are stifled and media and civil society are being attacked. This los...
Read more