The Business and Human Rights Research Centre publishes the first ranking of human rights performance for 98 companies

3 April 2017

The BHRRC has released the first of what promises to be a fascinating and rewarding ranking of major international corporations in terms of their human rights performance. For this first report the organisation has ranked 98 companies covering three sectors: agriculture, apparel and extractives. The plan is to increase coverage with time. The ranking is done using only publicly available information, and it is published in exemplary fashion: clearly and transparently.

The results are not impressive, though somewhat encouraging for Peru. The highest scores are in the 70-79% band, and 2 of the three that make this band are major investors in extractives in Peru: BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto (the third is Marks and Spencer). There is a bunch around the 40-49% mark, where we find Anglo American, Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan. Others of considerable interest to Peru, such as MMG, do not yet appear.

The methodology is well set out and sensible, covering six dimensions of human rights management. The most heavily weighted is ‘embedding respect and human rights due diligence’: BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto top the score. The weakest area generally is engagement with potentially affected stakeholders – communities and workers especially.

An area of particular interest for Peru is that of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Of the 41 extractives companies assessed, only one – again BHP Billiton - gets good marks for publicly indicating its commitment to the principle and publicly explaining how the practice is carried out (note that the report is not telling us about outcomes).

Over time this ranking should become a powerful tool for advocacy and for securing genuine improvements in company practice: good news, even if the relatively poor results are less good news. The summing up from the benchmark study is “most receive low scores”.

The report is entitled ‘Business and Human Rights Benchmark’ and is available at

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  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Society and Conflict

    Peru’s indigenous and peasant communities continue to suffer political marginalisation and discrimination. Insufficient consultation with such groups over political and developmental decisions has fostered feelings of disenfranchisement and led to elevated levels of social conflict.

  • Climate Change

    Two important reports on the impacts of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC ) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios and the Stern Review, place Peru as one of the countries that will be most affected by the effects of climate change.

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