Canada announced this week that it is creating an ombudsperson with the responsibility to monitor and investigate alllegations of human rights abuses linked to the activities of Canadian corporations operating abroad. The "Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprises (CORE)" will initially focus on corporations in the mining, oil and gas, and garment sector, but will then expand its scope of focus to all other business sectors.
This independent body replaces Canada's "Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor", a weaker body which required a complaint and the permission of companies to investigate allegations of abuses. This newly created ombudsperson will have the competence to investigate on its own as well as to make its findings public.
Nevertheless, the ombudsperson will not be able to sanction corporations in any way, but will rather use the publication of its findings and recommendations as an incentive for companies to avoid any reputational damage.
The Canadian government also announced the creation of a multi-stakeholder advisory board composed of businesses and civil society "to advise the Government and the CORE on responsible business conduct abroad."
Find the Statement of the Government of Canada here: