Swedish companies develop a conscience

Swedish multinational companies are becoming better at handling human rights issues, according to Amnesty International.

In a report produced by the organisation’s Swedish section, companies such as Ikea, Sandvik, SKF, Electrolux, Atlas Copco and OMX all performed very well.

“We are seeing a positive trend whereby companies are becoming more and more active. But at the same time we see that high-risk businesses, for example those involved in raw materials, are not sufficiently aware of the risk that their actions could violate human rights,” said Filippa W Bergin from Amnesty Business Group in a statement.

Among industrial companies, awareness of human rights issues is reported to have trebled over the past year.

But Amnesty calls for the raw materials industry to do more to prevent human rights violations. Industries such as forestry, oil and gas score lowest in the report.

The organisation points out that these industries are also exposed to the greatest risk, citing the exploitation of oil and gems in Africa as an example.