Joint Statement on the Situation in Sudan
We strongly condemn the escalating violence and rapidly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian crisis in Sudan, which began on 15 April and continues at an alarming scale in dense population centres, including in Khartoum and Darfur. As organisations that work with companies and investors to advance corporate respect for human rights, we deplore the clashes that have killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and resulted in a humanitarian emergency and the mass displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
We add our voices to all those calling for an immediate ceasefire, the safe passage for civilians fleeing areas of hostilities, and unhindered access for humanitarian efforts to alleviate the effects of the conflict on the civilian population. We reiterate the principles and concerns raised in the investor statement released after the Sudanese military disbanded the transitional government in October 2021 and believe that the restoration of the political transition towards an inclusive civilian, democratic government underpinned by respect for fundamental rights and freedoms is essential to a stable and prosperous Sudan with a thriving civil society and economy.
It is vital that any business with direct or value chain operations in Sudan take immediate steps to align their operations with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and International Humanitarian Law. Given the ongoing, heightened risk of severe human rights violations and abuses in Sudan, it is critical that companies undertake heightened human rights due diligence, as described in the UN Development Programme’s guide on Heightened Human Rights Due Diligence for Business in Conflict-Affected Contexts. This process will help companies ensure their activities or relationships do not cause or contribute to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law or exacerbate the conflict in Sudan. Companies should have policies and processes in place to undertake heightened human rights due diligence in all conflict-affected and high-risk areas where they engage in business activities.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide investors and companies with additional information and resources as necessary.
Joint statement by:
EIRIS Conflict Risk Network
Investor Alliance for Human Rights
About EIRIS Conflict Risk Network
EIRIS Conflict Risk Network is part of the EIRIS Foundation, a London-based research, advice and advocacy charity that pioneers the next steps in sustainable finance. EIRIS Conflict Risk Network, based in Boston, brings together asset owner and asset managers who share our belief that businesses operating in conflict areas have responsibilities and opportunities to make a difference by identifying and mitigating conflict risk to themselves and to the people affected. EIRIS CRN’s purpose is to help investors and companies ensure that they are not exacerbating conflict but actively taking steps to support peace and stability.
About the Heartland Initiative
The Heartland Initiative is a nonprofit practice-based research organization that promotes the fundamental rights and freedoms of people in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Heartland’s work responds to a growing need at the intersection of business and human rights, where public and private stakeholders understand that business activities can contribute to either the escalation or mitigation of conflicts and their attendant human rights violations. Through tailored learning services, Heartland works with stakeholders to develop solutions that simultaneously prevent and mitigate human rights harms while managing the heightened legal, reputational, and financial risks faced by companies and investors in conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
About the Investor Alliance for Human Rights
The Investor Alliance for Human Rights is a collective action platform for responsible investment that is grounded in respect for people’s fundamental rights. Its members include asset management firms, public pension funds, trade union funds, faith-based institutions, family funds, and endowments. Collectively, they represent over $12 trillion in assets under management and 20 countries. The Investor Alliance is an initiative of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.