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Financial Services Human Rights Benchmark

The human rights performance of financial services entities
By measuring performance against a set of indicators designed for the financial services sector (and sub-sectors), the performance of these institutions can be documented and benchmarked. Learn more about our benchmark here.

Our vision

For anyone seeking information on ethical financial services, who is concerned about the human rights performance and reputation of Financial Institutions, the Financial Services Human Rights Database is an authoritative new information website that includes an easy to use database and annual benchmarking report, that allows users to easily compare and understand financial services from the perspective of human rights.

Unlike the current method of seeking all information on institutions separately, our database and reports compile all publicly available information into a single searchable database.

The 655i benchmark model

Our benchmark measures financial institution performance on:

  • 6 human rights categories across
  • 5 domains where financial institutions impact human rights, using
  • 5 factors to assess risk, outcomes and impacts, with
  • Indicators (proxies) to measure factor performance within a domain. 

We call this the 655i benchmark model. Read our explainer to learn more.

The team

Professor David Kinley holds the Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Sydney Law School.

He is also an Academic Expert member of Doughty Street Chambers in London, a founding member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and a member of the Australian Council for Human Rights. He was previously the founding Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University from 2000 to 2005.

Specialising in the profound and intriguing intersections between human rights and the global economy, he has been at the forefront of this fast-growing subject area from its inception some 25 years ago.

He is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar and has taught and lectured at more than a dozen universities worldwide, from Oxford, La Sorbonne, and Harvard, to West Point Military Academy, the University of the South Pacific, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

David has also worked with a wide range of international organizations including the UN, the World Bank, and the EU, as well as government agencies, law firms, multinational corporations and NGOs in Australia, Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, Europe and North America.

His books include Civilising Globalisation in 2009; The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (with Saul and Mowbray), 2014 (winner of the American Society of International Law Book Prize in 2015); Necessary Evil, 2018 (winner of the Axiom International Business Book Award in 2020); and most recently The Liberty Paradox. He also has a TEDx video: How Much do Banks Owe Us?

David’s full and formal curriculum vitae is available here.

Dr Kym Sheehan came to the law in 2001, having previously worked in human resources, including working as an Associate at executive search firms, a human resources manager in the mining industry and consulting roles in telecommunications, health IT and marketing.

Her interest in executive remuneration is long-standing, commencing in 1994 when she started working as an Associate at an executive search firm. She continued her interests in executive remuneration and its regulation via a PhD on say on pay at the Melbourne Law School. 

While no longer working in human resources, Kym has retained her interest in corporate life and employment matters. This informs her interest in human rights and business.   

Her initial research on a modern slavery act for Australia in 2017. It was this research and a mutual interest in finance that led to David and Kym applying for funding via the Sydney Law School’s Special Projects Scheme in 2017. 

Kym is the lead designer of the benchmark and manages the team of research assistants on the project.  

Kym’s full and formal curriculum vitae is available here.

  • Stefanie Car
  • Tom Seaton-Roberts
  • Jamie Lowe
  • John-Patrick Asimakis
  • Sam Slattery
  • Brendan Ma
  • Elle Makeig
  • Harrison Simons

IMAGE: Photo by Floriane Vita on Unsplash

Research lead

Research lead

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