As an export credit agency, we have a responsibility to respect human rights across our operations. We focus our efforts on influencing better outcomes for people through our own actions and those of our customers.
Trade affects people
The economic prosperity created through international trade isn’t possible without people. Our role allows us to connect Canadians with companies around the world. But trade connections can also lead to adverse human rights impacts.
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) state that all businesses should have policies and procedures in place to identify, prevent and mitigate their impact on human rights, and should report on how they address this impact.
We align our human rights commitments and conduct due diligence in accordance with the UNGPs. Our commitment to respect human rights does not mean that we need to avoid all transactions or impacts where environmental, social or human rights risks or impacts exist. Rather, the expectation of international frameworks is that–where such risks or impacts are present–we will seek to effectively manage those risks and impacts. Our approach is to identify, assess and mitigate potential human rights impacts we could be connected to through our customer relationships, and to enable remedy should impacts occur.
Our Human Rights Policy provides the principles and commitments that guide our approach to respecting human rights and our internal decision-making for the transactions we support and the actions we take.
This framework establishes our process to identify, assess and mitigate human rights risks in our transactions and customer relationships. It encompasses our approach to non-project and project-related transactions as part of our environmental and social due diligence. It also includes specific approaches for areas we consider higher risk for human rights.
Our Human Rights Policy commits us to building and using our leverage to prevent and mitigate human rights risks and impacts, and enabling remedy should an impact occur. We developed these principles to operationalize our commitments across our business.
As part of our due diligence process, we work closely with our customers and support their efforts to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts. When potential or actual severe risks are identified, we conduct a full assessment of the risks and seek to address them with our customers. This can involve asking specific questions about their human rights practices and giving them information and guidance to improve their practices and effectively manage risks and impacts.
Engaging with stakeholders
We engage with diverse stakeholders, including the Government of Canada, our ESG Advisory Council, civil society organizations, industry and trade associations, bank partners, other ECAs, international partners and customers. We use our breadth and depth of influence to share our approach on human rights risk management and to gather feedback from stakeholders to continue to strengthen our practices.
At any time, stakeholders can submit queries and review response letters from our CEO here.
Stakeholder groups EDC engages with on human rights issues
Policies & reports
Explore our policies, reports and other reference materials related to human rights practices at EDC.
Human Rights Policy
Drives our approach to human rights, including decision-making for the transactions we support and the actions we take.