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Why Marshalls is supporting the UNGC UK's Business & Human Rights Forum

Elaine Mitchel-Hill, Business and Human Rights Lead at Marshalls plc
Monday 15th March, 2021

On 30th to 31st March 2021, the UN Global Compact Network UK will hold its first-ever Business & Human Rights Forum. We’re supporting this event and several of our people are guest speakers, including Elaine Mitchel-Hill, our Business and Human Rights Lead. Below, Elaine shares her thoughts on the event and why she’s encouraging people to sign up to one, or several, of the many seminars.

The UN Global Compact Network UK's first-ever Business & Human Rights Forum could not have come at a better time; it is most definitely ‘of its time’. I have been engaged with the UK Network for over 12 years, and I’ve seen the steady, sure, often arduous and hard won developments. What has shone out to me has been the relentless commitment of an initially small team over the long-term to dig in and keep going; to be willing to listen, flex and grow, but not to give ground on the important mission tasked to them. Being the national and local conduit for the meaningful translation and implementation of the UNGC's global framework, principles and Sustainable Development Goal commitments is no easy task, and definitely not for the faint hearted.

Covid-19 has been, and continues to be, the mother of all acid test for business and human rights in all respects, none more so that in supply chains. I still maintain that for those committed to respecting human rights, working to prevent violations, to giving workers and victims a voice, and to raising international standards, as opposed to looking through the lens of compliance, these are challenging times, but also a rare opportunity to expertly and relentlessly seek to weave human right throughout the fabric of our organisations. There will never be another time like this to act. Everything is different and anything is possible!

It’s for all of these reasons that Marshalls reached out and grabbed the opportunity to support this BHR Forum. It will challenge our thinking, open us up to different perspectives, promote collaboration and make visible our points of connection. Marshalls’ engagement also honours the tireless and brave work of the UK Network team, for whose relentless commitment and leadership we are most grateful. So, my ask of you is that you join one of the sessions, or join them all! We need you to come to this Business & Human Rights party. There is a virtual seat ready and waiting – just register to let us know you’ll be there.

For more information about this event, and to book places, please click the banner below.

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