Fact Sheet #36a) Broad Human Rights Parameters

Level 5

Element: Evaluation for Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement

Outcome 36: Organization incorporates parameters related to the broad promotion of human rights into its monitoring system.

Indicator 36a): Organization has introduced broader human rights parameters into its monitoring system.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Different international instruments regarding human rights used as benchmarking for the organization’s monitoring system (performance measurement framework, scorecard, etc.).
  • Evidence of social sustainability parameters included in the monitoring system.

Indicator Description

The organization has now shared its monitoring approach, as well as its human rights successes and challenges with others, to gain access to a greater source of information in terms of human rights practices and/or to nurture partnerships. Throughout its Human Rights Maturity Model (the Model) journey, the organization has been embracing human rights values moving from a reactive behaviour, to compliance with domestic laws, to a proactive approach. At this point in its maturity, the organization now integrates broader human rights standards to monitor its activities and its human rights impact on the community.

At Level 4, the organization shared its portrait and practices in terms of both monitoring structure and human rights with external partners. From common experiences or from similar circumstances, they explore new avenues or concepts to better respond to the evolving needs of their workforce and clients. At Level 5, the organization is integrating goals, outcomes, indicators, or measures from other sources (from non-governmental or international organizations or networks). The organization is then reporting on human rights results beyond its economic interest or its mandate, both internally and publicly.

For example, the organization integrates standards from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and from the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act into its monitoring system. The organization also publicly shares its results regarding employees and clients satisfaction with its accommodation policy, amended to reflect the new standards, to both raise awareness and advocate for the well-being of people with disabilities.

Suggested Approach

An organization that wishes to move to the Level 5 of the Model can use international human rights instruments to introduce broader parameters into their monitoring system. Many Canadian organizations have already embraced the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Others choose not to bring CSR to the forefront, but are ensuring that their operations do not hinder the communities where they operate. For federal departments and agencies, it is about supporting the government’s efforts to strengthen CSR reporting and compliance and the well-being of Canadians in general. Following is an approach to start introducing broader human rights parameters to the organization’s monitoring system.

  • Review the organisation’s broader strategy for human rights: As indicated in (fact sheet 31a)), the organization is now in a position to broadly promote human rights and to contribute to the overall interests of its community, locally and internationally. Sponsoring charities, supporting events, creating opportunities for development and participating to international initiatives such as the global compact will call for different types of indicators and measures.
  • Set relevant indicators for measuring human rights impacts across the different functions of the business: As you are introducing new parameters, ensure that you are doing it with a circle of continuous improvement in mind.
  • Research existing parameters around the issues the organization decided to foster: While the organization is getting ideas from others on what is being done to promote human rights broadly, it may also find what kind of parameters already exist to monitor the issue whether in community groups, non-governmental organizations under Provincial Human Rights Codes or Policies, or with the International human rights instruments such as the Mental Health Strategy in Canada, the Canada Action Plan for Corporate Social Responsibilities or international declarations, and conventions and treaties.
  • Decide which human rights impact(s) the organization wants to report on: Reporting is an essential part of any business management system. It is a tool to promote good business, accountability and results. Many companies already report on social and environmental performance in addition to their business results. Knowing what the organization must or would like to report on will guide the introduction of the broader parameters to the monitoring system.

Promising Practices

  • Embracing a cause: A private sector organization analyzed the impact of mental health issues in its own workforce and notice that it was similar to the situation in the Canadian workforce and on the international labour market. It decided to launch a national initiative on mental health. It added some parameters to its measurement framework and it is publicly reporting the results of the initiative which is encouraging the public to participate.
  • Enabling others to embrace socially responsible standards: Public sector organizations that manage funding programs added human rights and corporate social responsibility components to the qualifications required by applicant organizations in order to receive funding. Applicant organizations have to integrate new standards, outcomes, indicators, or measures in their monitoring system and report on them.

Useful Tools and Links

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Changing Directions Changing Lives: the Mental Health Strategy for Canada 

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

International Labour Organization Fundamental Conventions and Recommendations

Bell Let’s Talk Initiative on Mental Health

The International Bill of Human Rights and the Core International Human Rights Instruments and their monitoring bodies

Accountability, and Sustainable Competitiveness: Public Policy for Corporate Social Responsibility - The World Bank Institute, the Private Sector Development Vice Presidency of the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation, WBI Series on Corporate Responsibility 

Sector Guidance, Global Reporting Initiative

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