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The first study on business and human rights in Ukraine have been published

06/ 12/ 2021
  On December 2, the EBA members joined a meeting of the Intersectoral Platform on Business and Human Rights chaired by the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights – Ms. Lyudmila Denisova. There was the presentation of the first results of a comprehensive study by UNDP in Ukraine to identify gaps and barriers to human rights for both companies that have to comply with them and for holders of these rights. According to the study, the commonest human rights violations in business are related to violations of workers labor rights that affect mostly women with children, the elderly, people with disabilities, LGBT people, young people (especially those without work experience), etc. As the main obstacles, study participants cite the low level of business awareness of human rights, as well as the lack of funding for structural change and policy implementation due to COVID-19. Similar conclusions were obtained by the European Business Association in a study of Sustainable Development Index conducted together with Naftogaz of Ukraine and Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics in September this year among member companies. Olga Boiko, EBA Industrial Ecology, and Sustainable Development Committee Coordinator, citing the study, added that human rights issues are currently a priority for less than half of the businesses surveyed. Thus, only 41% of the Index participants supported the projects of social and professional integration of persons with disabilities. 30% of companies have to support programs for the elderly, and 32% support families with young children. Companies are the least active in promoting gender equality – only 28% of respondents reported the implementation of relevant projects. At the same time, companies identify two groups of barriers to the implementation of sustainable development projects. The external group is related to legislation and the internal group is based on the lack of understanding and support from management and owners and insufficient funding in this area in the company.  However, the European Business Association is already actively working to improve the situation. For example, work is underway in the regulatory field to change labor law, namely with regard to the employment of people with disabilities. In this context, business needs to create an effective and efficient mechanism to increase employment, which would motivate both companies and candidates with disabilities. Besides, in April, the EBA Womens Club launched a project Her way of doing business, aimed at fostering female leadership. During meetings with women executives or owners of Ukrainian and international companies, participants will learn how to make changes at the company level, pave the way to success, instill effective principles in work and life, business management, create and motivate a successful team, etc. This project is meant to build a female business community where women can gain support, discover, and develop leadership skills. And thats far from all the project can offer. Therefore, the EBA supports the idea of raising business awareness and is ready to continue to actively participate in its implementation.

On December 2, the EBA members joined a meeting of the Intersectoral Platform on Business and Human Rights chaired by the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights – Ms. Lyudmila Denisova.

There was the presentation of the first results of a comprehensive study by UNDP in Ukraine to identify gaps and barriers to human rights for both companies that have to comply with them and for holders of these rights. According to the study, the commonest human rights violations in business are related to violations of workers’ labor rights that affect mostly women with children, the elderly, people with disabilities, LGBT people, young people (especially those without work experience), etc.

As the main obstacles, study participants cite the low level of business awareness of human rights, as well as the lack of funding for structural change and policy implementation due to COVID-19.

Similar conclusions were obtained by the European Business Association in a study of Sustainable Development Index conducted together with Naftogaz of Ukraine and Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics in September this year among member companies. Olga Boiko, EBA Industrial Ecology, and Sustainable Development Committee Coordinator, citing the study, added that human rights issues are currently a priority for less than half of the businesses surveyed. Thus, only 41% of the Index participants supported the projects of social and professional integration of persons with disabilities. 30% of companies have to support programs for the elderly, and 32% support families with young children. Companies are the least active in promoting gender equality – only 28% of respondents reported the implementation of relevant projects. At the same time, companies identify two groups of barriers to the implementation of sustainable development projects. The external group is related to legislation and the internal group is based on the lack of understanding and support from management and owners and insufficient funding in this area in the company. 

However, the European Business Association is already actively working to improve the situation. For example, work is underway in the regulatory field to change labor law, namely with regard to the employment of people with disabilities. In this context, business needs to create an effective and efficient mechanism to increase employment, which would motivate both companies and candidates with disabilities.

Besides, in April, the EBA Women’s Club launched a project “Her way of doing business”, aimed at fostering female leadership. During meetings with women executives or owners of Ukrainian and international companies, participants will learn how to make changes at the company level, pave the way to success, instill effective principles in work and life, business management, create and motivate a successful team, etc. This project is meant to build a female business community where women can gain support, discover, and develop leadership skills. And that’s far from all the project can offer.

Therefore, the EBA supports the idea of raising business awareness and is ready to continue to actively participate in its implementation.

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