New government policies and legislation mandate companies to report more transparently about the effects of their operations on human rights, and how they aim to prevent and eradicate negative impacts. This program assesses Business and Human Rights issues through the lens of such legislation to provide insight and improvements.
We facilitate research projects that aim to understand how corporations meet the challenges and requirements posed by existing legal frameworks. Within this program the WikiRate team assists partner organizations with:
- Developing and testing research metrics to systematically extract specific information from the corporate statements.
- Refining methodologies to ensure the data collected is consistent and reliable.
- Recruiting volunteer researchers through our network of academic institutions and volunteer communities.
- Assisting researchers throughout the research process, and providing support materials such as video tutorials and step-by-step guides.
- Providing tech support to deal with any complications.
- Reviewing the data to test and improve data quality.
Once the data is gathered, our team reviews the data and executes random spots checks to test and improve data quality. The dataset can then be exported to conduct analyses.
Currently we support research on two pieces of legislation:
- The UK Modern Slavery Act which as of 2015 mandates commercial organisations that have an annual turnover of over £36 million and operations in the UK, to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement each financial year, setting out steps to ensure no such cases occur in their supply chains and direct business operations.
- Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which in 2010 introduced a legal requirement for companies that file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report on their due diligence to ensure that their sourcing of certain minerals does not fund armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
As an increasing number of laws seeking to enhance the accountability of business in the human rights area come into existence, the projects in this program will continue to assess their impact on corporate disclosures and their effectiveness in raising the bar for industry standards.
In 2019, making use of platform features, we piloted the development of bespoke analysis metrics for the legislative frameworks program.
By bringing the analysis of the Modern Slavery Act data onto the WikiRate.org platform, it is now easier and faster for our partners to use the data in publications and advocacy, simply because the analysis is dynamically updated when new data is added to the platform through the ongoing research engagements.
Expansion opportunities for this program are diverse. Whether it is about deepening or broadening projects and engagements, we are always keen to hear from our community and find out what is of most interest to you.
“The Walk Free Foundation has been working with Wikirate since September 2016 to draft baseline metrics to assess the statements released under the UK Modern Slavery Act. By providing the platform for this analysis, Wikirate is providing an essential tool to track and measure corporation action against modern slavery, freeing this data from static reports and policy papers. This project brings together researchers and advocates from the US, Kenya, Australia and the UK to hold these corporations to account. The Walk Free Foundation looks forward to future collaboration with WikiRate.”
– Katharine Bryant, Research Manager, Walk Free Foundation
“The WikiRate Modern Slavery Act metrics were relevant and quite specific. The methodology was clear and incredibly helpful. As a researcher, I always understood what was expected of my analysis and the evidence I needed to find.”
– Anonymous student, Columbia University
“Together with WikiRate, we created a set of metrics that help us understand what companies do to ensure they source minerals responsibly — and we are engaging students from the UK, US and other parts of the world in populating these new metrics with actual data. This is very powerful not only because we generate valuable data for research and campaigning, but mostly because we engage people in a meaningful way, beyond sharing information or providing financial support. This new generation of tech-savvy activists will disrupt fundamentally the traditional engagement models.”
– Milena Marin, Senior Innovations Campaigner, Amnesty International