UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges ECAs to strengthen standards

(UN Human Rights Office, Geneva, 6 May 2022) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recommends how to improve human rights impacts of global supply chains, as requested by the German Presidency of the G7. She noted that achieving sustainable supply chains will also require integration of international standards on responsible business conduct across investment and trade policy. Export credit agencies and export-import banks for example are key players involved in supporting parts of global supply chain operations. Yet their lack of multilateral engagement in recent years has had a negative impact on their capacity to update and align their standards either to the UNGPs or to high-level commitments made by their own governments. Improving the human rights performance of export credit agencies is an important lever for fostering sustainable supply chains. As an obvious first step, governments should heighten the obligations of the Export Credit Group’s Recommendation on Common Approaches regarding human rights and international standards on responsible business conduct. Accelerating efforts to advance implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in global supply chains is a crucial step forward to do this.