Investing in human rights: overcoming the human rights data problem

Jaap Bartels, Willem Schramade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Human rights concerns are hardly integrated in investment decisions. That is a missed opportunity given investors’ crucial role in putting pressure on corporations to produce better information on adverse human rights impacts and addressing these impacts. This article investigates why human rights abuses by companies are so persistent. Explanations include the inherent complexity of global value chains; a lack of integration of human rights in business; insufficient legal enforcement; and inadequate data and limited pressure on corporations by investors. Although investors have launched several initiatives to improve their human rights performance they seem not yet able to solve the identified challenges and fulfil the requirements set out in the OECD guidelines and UNGP. We make suggestions to improve human rights data for investors by expanding the existing ecosystem and build two types of new institutions: specialised human rights data gatherers and dedicated human rights investment funds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-219
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sustainable Finance and Investment
Issue number1
Early online date6 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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