Church Commissioners Toughens Stance on Human Rights

The Church Commissioners, one of the Church of England’s two national investing bodies, has announced that it will vote against companies failing to meet its human rights expectations. From the beginning of next year, the Church Commissioners will vote against the re-election of relevant directors in companies that do not meet its expectations on human rights. This includes directors with named responsibility for human rights, or board chairs, who are up for re-election in 2023 AGMs. Key issues for the asset owner include discrimination, modern slavery, indigenous people’s rights and community impacts. The Church Commissioners will also work with data providers and proxy advisors with the aim of expanding the assessment of companies, improving transparency for the market overall. Dan Neale, Church Commissioners for England’s Social Themes Lead for Responsible Investment, said: “We expect companies in which we invest to be actively committed to prevent, mitigate and account for human rights risks and impacts in all their activities. We will use our vote with discretion, when we think it’s appropriate to signal our disapproval to the management of a company that do not appear to meet our expectations of responsible business conduct with regards to respect for human rights.” 

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