New York, United States of America
(New York, 18 September 2015) – As the global refugee crisis is unfolding across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the UN Global Compact, in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and with the support of other UN entities, civil society and NGO organizations, are calling on companies, as well as other stakeholders, to take action to diminish the suffering of people forced to flee conflict and support solutions for the resulting widespread societal disruption.
According to UNHCR, 60 million people, including 19.5 million refugees, have been displaced by conflict and over 410,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and other countries so far this year. Understanding that the primary responsibility for peace rests with Governments, the urgency of the global refugee crisis is a challenge that requires support from all actors in society – including business.
Some companies are already taking action by providing much needed financial support to UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, as well as to other partners responding to the crisis. Yet, business leadership can extend far beyond financial donations. Companies with operations or supply chains in countries that are producing, transiting and receiving refugees are called upon to demonstrate leadership by taking action – as an individual company or in partnership with others. Companies should determine how best to support, based on their own assets and capabilities. The types of activities can include, but are not limited to:
- Core business. Addressing the refugee crisis through a company’s core business operations, including internal procedures, human resources hiring practices, training, sourcing policies, supply chains, as well as the development of products and services appropriate for refugees.
- Social investment and philanthropy. Financial contributions, relief items and strategic social investment support for NGOs, UN and multilateral agencies or directly to affected communities and/or contributing functional expertise through volunteering efforts.
- Advocacy and public policy engagement. Fostering social cohesion and inter-group dialogue and relationship-building in the workplace, marketplace and community.
- Partnership and collective action. Joining forces with Governments, UN entities, civil society organizations and/or other businesses to act collectively find solutions to the refugee crisis and forge long-term partnerships for regional economic and sustainable development.
To share the actions that your company is already taking, or to share a new commitment to action to help respond to the refugee crisis, please visit: https://business.un.org/pledge_refugee_crisis
Head, Strategy & Partnerships and Business for Peace