Human Rights Radar

Identify and understand companies’ involvement in countries and territories where there is a high risk of human rights violations


Identify public companies complicit in human rights violations

Learn about campaigns that have been initiated against the company

Understand the role and nature of the company’s involvement as part of the final integrated risk assessment

Receive country reports with background information on intl. treaties and human rights concerns

Take a rights-first approach with alignment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights



Nature of Involvement
Uses the following criteria to classify the severity and accountability of involvement: Direct violation of human rights, provision of tailored products and services, benefits perpetrators or exacerbates grievances, and minor economic activities or sales.


Impact of Involvement
Assesses whether a business activity normalizes, facilitates, expands or enforces human rights violations in a country, based on the country context.


Extent of Involvement
Looks at the number of high-risk countries a company is involved in to determine the overall impact a company has on human rights around the world.


Company Management
Assesses a company’s preparedness to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the local context in which it operates.



Countries: Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Disputed Territories: Palestine, Western Sahara and Tibet
The choice of territories is based on client demand. Sustainalytics does not take a position on the definition or politics of disputed territories.


The Energy industry, consisting of subindustries related to oil and gas exploration and production, is linked to five of the 11 worst-performing countries on human rights. Because of the value of hydrocarbons and the substantial investment required to find and extract it, the operations of Oil and Gas companies tend to be extensive, even in unstable or authoritarian countries. In such contexts, however, their involvement can exacerbate tensions between rival factions, as in Somalia and South Sudan, or directly fund a government that is committing human rights violations, like in Sudan and Syria. By conducting these activities, companies run the risk of complicity in the violations being committed.

Human Rights Energy Placeholder
Human Rights Energy

The Aerospace and Defense (A&D) subindustry is linked to seven of the 11 worst-performing countries on human rights, due to the flow of arms going into these countries. While not actually being present in a country, A&D companies facilitate human rights abuses by arming dictators or prolonging a conflict by supplying parties with weapons. Although many in the international community call for the imposition of arms embargoes on high risk countries, conflicting geopolitics often keep this from happening. Examples of where this is arguably occurring include Syria and South Sudan, where thousands of civilians have been killed as a result of the on-going violence.

Human Rights Aerospace and Defense Placeholder
Human Rights Aerospace and Defense

The Wireless and Integrated Telecommunications Services subindustries can be linked to human rights abuses in six of the 11 worst-performing countries on human rights. Among these are Eritrea, North Korea, and Syria, all of which have authoritarian regimes in power that use telecommunication infrastructure to control their population. Although typically associated with the positive impacts of greater connectivity, in places without a strong rule of law such technology can be used to censor and monitor the public. This leads to violations of peoples’ right to privacy and even the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of those that oppose the government.

Human Rights Map Telecommunications Placeholder
Human Rights Map Telecommunications

The Extractives subindustries can be linked to human rights violations in four of the 11 worst-performing countries on human rights, including the Central African Republic, Eritrea, and Somalia. In these three countries, authoritarian regimes and militant groups use the revenues generated from resource extraction to oppress the population, particularly with the sale of conflict minerals. Furthermore, laborers in these industries suffer terrible working conditions, with situations often tantamount to forced labor. Companies working in these countries risk supporting such practices and the parties in power and thus risk complicity in the violations taking place.

Human Rights Map Extractives Placeholder
Human Rights Map Extractives

Sustainalytics’ proprietary methodology for the Human Rights Radar was developed with input and feedback from various stakeholders. In particular, our gratitude goes out to our valued client Wespath.


Identify companies involved in weapons with a disproportionate and indiscriminate impact on civilians

Identify companies involved in incidents and events that may negatively impact stakeholders or the environment

Identify companies that violate, or risk violating, the United Nation’s Global Compact

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