Shareholders Press Companies Harder On Human Rights

Proxy season is underway, in which companies face their shareholders and their concerns on social issues, and there has been a surge in human rights proposals aimed at such issues as immigration rights and detention, child sexual exploitation, hate speech and privacy.

As of mid-February, 44 shareholder resolutions on human rights had been filed and 33 were pending for votes, according to Proxy Preview 2019, a joint publication from As You Sow, the Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact. One such resolution asked Costco Wholesale Corp. to file an annual report on its suppliers’ compliance with its Global Policy on Prison Labor, and this received nearly 29% of shareholder votes in January, up from almost 5% the prior year.