PRI Collaborative stewardship initiative on social issues and human rights

2 members


As outlined in the PRI’s position paper: why and how investors should act on human rights , investors have a key role to play in addressing social issues and human rights.

At the PRI, we are launching a new collaborative initiative for investors to address human rights and social issues through their stewardship activities. 

Business case

The case for the initiative is threefold:

1. Investors’ own responsibility

As outlined in our recent paper, investors themselves have responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles and under the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Institutional investors’ responsibility to respect human rights encompasses both their own operational activities – for example in relation to employees, clients, communities, and contractors – and the outcomes for people they are connected to through their investments

2. Urgency and systemic nature of the issues

Human rights encompass a range of social issues which are both urgent and systemic in nature. These issues, from inequality and discrimination to inequitable access to healthcare, undermine not just individual rights but also the societal infrastructure which the global economy relies on for delivering long term growth and prosperity.

3. Power of collaboration

Progress on human rights – like other outcomes that investors may seek to shape through stewardship – suffers from a collective action problem, in that everyone (including investors and companies) benefits from the actions of those who put in effort to solve the issues, but may be unwilling to contribute to those efforts. In addition to collective action problem benefits, a collaborative stewardship initiative has the potential to enhance investors’ influence by strengthening their common voice; that is, making clear their commonly held expectations of companies and other stakeholders, then using a variety of tools of influence3 to encourage corporate alignment with those expectations.

Collaboration details

ESG theme
  • Social
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