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As part of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) public consultations on the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) draft work programme 2023-2025, TrustWorks Global alongside the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, Heartland Initiative, International Alert and PeaceNexus Foundation submitted a letter to provide our unanimous feedback regarding the development of new Topic Standards, with a focus on the increasing imperative to develop standards around conflict-sensitivity and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We strongly believe that the issues of conflict-sensitivity and IHL must be prioritised as distinct but equally important issues in any new and revised GRI Standards for two key reasons:
1. The failure on the part of companies to comply with IHL has disastrous consequences for communities and contexts affected by conflict and may translate into material risks for companies and investors as the result of criminal and civil liability, regulatory enforcement, operational disruptions, and reputational damage.
2. The inclusion of conflict-sensitivity as a GRI standard represents a historical opportunity to encourage companies and investors to avoid predictable adverse impacts on conflict and to contribute actively to peace and stability at a time when violent conflict is on the rise.
We therefore welcome this opportunity to provide our reflections on why there is a need to develop a conflict-sensitivity standard, with strong reference to IHL, and to raise more awareness.
You can read the full letter below:
GRI GSSB Conflict-sensitivity IHL Prioritisation of conflict-sensitivity in GRI Programme of Work