Stakeholder engagement is essential to a business’s efforts to respect human rights – and it needs to be meaningful if it’s going to fulfill that role. While there is substantial guidance about how to conduct stakeholder engagement more effectively, many companies still face significant challenges in getting engagement “right.” Poor engagement can increase the risks of negative human rights impacts on stakeholders; failing to address stakeholder concerns early and effectively can mean that they escalate into more serious impacts. On the other hand, meaningful stakeholder engagement can bring benefits to company and stakeholders alike because it can lead to more informed actions and decisions that help prevent human rights impacts from occurring or find more creative ways to try to address them. 

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