Human rights, corruption, tax avoidance, conflict and climate change all feature in the list

Writing in the Huffington Post, Michael Shtender-Auerbach, vice president of Social Risk Consulting at Control Risks, explains the top five socio-political business risks for 2010.

Human right risk

“Human rights impact management catapulted into the spotlight in 2009 and will continue to be an integral necessity for existing corporate risk management processes,” said Shtender-Auerbach. “In 2010, multinationals will find increased pressure…to conduct human rights due diligence.”

Corruption risk

“Corporate executives must institute internal mechanisms to prevent, detect, and remediate violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”, warned the article.

Tax avoidance risk

“In 2010, multinationals will be under increased pressure to disclose contractual relationships with sovereigns and in many cases may be forced to renegotiate their existing licenses to operate and pay their fair share,” advised Shtender-Auerbach.

Conflict minerals risk

“Multinationals in 2010 will be pressured (through legislation or activist networks) to conduct robust supply chain assessments to ensure their products are conflict-mineral free,” cautioned the expert.

Climate Risk

According to Shtender-Auerbach : “Multinationals must undertake thorough assessments of the probable risk exposure to the financial and competitive consequences of climate change and secure their position to take advantage of the enormous and endless opportunities.”

The article also drew attention to a dangerous trend of suicide risk. While this is not a top priority for companies in 2010 it is something they should be taking seriously, said Shtender-Auerbach. He pointed at the suicide epidemic at France Telecom that claimed the lives of 26.