Social LobbyMap

Social LobbyMap will assess corporate lobbying on human rights and labour standards. We aim to encourage political engagement that supports human rights and enable investors, civil society, and other stakeholders to hold businesses trying to weaken or undermine human rights legislation accountable.  

Why is this project so timely and necessary?

Limiting corporate accountability to companies’ own operations and value chains neglects the significant influence companies have on regulation and enforcement. InfluenceMap’s LobbyMap in the climate space has shown the importance of providing systematic analysis and calling out cases where companies or their trade associations may be lobbying out of step with their own commitments or global goals such as the Paris Agreement.  

Mapping and assessing lobbying on social issues can replicate that effect in relation to human rights. This could drive effective human rights due diligence (HRDD) rollout or uphold new and established labour standards. The impacts sought would be enabling specific interventions by corporate stakeholders in favour of particular social goals and general encouragement and reward for better behaviour from within companies. 

Social LobbyMap comes at a moment when many countries are regulating their Human Rights Due Diligence processes, including in regional negotiations. In this atmosphere, lobbying around human rights will be increasingly prevalent.  

Providing transparency and rigorous analysis on social policy lobbying efforts at company-level will: 

  • Provide a “sunlight disinfectant” that encourages and rewards better behaviour from companies, and 
  • Enable change-makers, such as investors and civil society organisations, to hold companies that lobby against legislative efforts focused on implementing global frameworks such as the HRDDD and ILO Conventions to account

It is important to acknowledge that not all lobbying is negative. Corporate political engagement can enhance the democratic process by highlighting different perspectives and expertise. Positive public policy engagement in favour of initiatives that advance globally agreed goals in the social field should be encouraged and publicised. Transparency in corporate lobbying and respective trade associations can strengthen the discussion around corporate responsibility, bringing new opportunities for companies to thrive in a landscape where increasing consideration and attention is being given to human rights legislation, policy and due diligence. Our research will also consider and  highlight examples of positive lobbying activity.  

Project methodology

Using the InfluenceMap model in the climate space, the EIRIS Foundation is developing a similar methodology, scoring model, and database for Social LobbyMap.  

Previous consultation with several civil society organisations and investment initiatives confirmed the need for a Social LobbyMap and helped decide on topics to assess.  

Applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other international standards, EIRIS Foundation will develop a methodology to measure the business sector’s political engagement against nine themes (consisting of the 5 ILO Core Labour Standards): 

  1. Mandatory human rights due diligence
  2. Remedy 
  3. Supply chains 
  4. Stakeholder engagement 
  5. Freedom of association and collective bargaining 
  6. Forced Labour 
  7. Child Labour 
  8. Discrimination at work 
  9. Health and safety 

The analysis will explore publicly available data regarding corporate political engagement, such as consultation responses and company disclosures.  

EIRIS Foundation will initially focus on the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, with the view to applying the methodology to other relevant human rights policies.  

A draft version of the methodology has been published: Social LobbyMap Draft Methodology for Consultation

If you would like to comment on the methodology please respond via this form:  by the 24th of May.

Engagement and feedback

Social LobbyMap Consultations

EIRIS Foundation is holding a series of consultation events on the proposed Social LobbyMap methodology. The aim is to offer a preview of the methodology and gain feedback on our approach from invitees.

Registration info:

To register, please fill out the corresponding form

EIRIS Foundation is keen to hear from any stakeholders interested in shaping this initiative. 

How can you get involved? 

  • Respond to our methodology consultation using the form above.
  • Become a supporter or ally: Let us know in case you are interested in being more closely involved in the project, for example by contributing expertise or by becoming an active user or disseminator of our upcoming research findings.
  • Please send any more general feedback and comments, and/or get in touch in case you would like to have a follow up conversation or know someone we should be talking to.

Contact: [email protected]   


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