Human Rights

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In a dramatic shift from last year, almost none of the 2018 resolutions concern doing business in conflict zones or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; half of the 42 proposals pending in February 2017 did. The main reason is that the Holy Land Principles organization has only one resolution this year, down from 21; its proposals called for adoption of those principles, modeled on the MacBride principles for Northern Ireland, but the three-year campaign never attracted much support from investors and votes were quite low. However, resolutions about other longstanding concerns of ICCR members and other civil society groups remain and their total has not changed much in the last five years, as illustrated on the accompanying graph.

Almost all the 2018 proposals are at new recipients, even though most of the concerns they raise about supply chain standards, human trafficking and operating in dicey environments around the world will be familiar to investors. Brand-new was a proposal to Chubb about its controversial CarryGuard insurance, offered in collaboration with the National Rifle Association for those who seek protection if they shoot someone in self-defense, but it already has been omitted on technical grounds; that proposal joined three other new ones to gun makers and a retailer.

In all, there are 31 proposals on human rights this year, 18 are now pending, proponents have withdrawn six, and four have been omitted so far after company challenges at the SEC. Eight more SEC challenges have yet to be resolved.