About Us

Above Ground works to ensure that companies based in Canada or supported by the Canadian state respect human rights wherever they operate. We shed light on the impacts of Canadian business activity abroad and advance solutions for corporate accountability in Canada. We encourage the Canadian government to fulfill its legal duty to protect against human rights abuse by the private sector and to provide access to justice for victims of such abuse.

What we do

Research and analysis

We conduct in-depth research and present credible, well-documented analyses of the human rights impacts of Canadian companies’ overseas operations and the legal context in which they operate.

Collaboration and convening

We work in close collaboration with other human rights advocates in Canada and internationally. We contribute legal and policy expertise to several civil society coalitions, and bring together key players to facilitate information exchange, analysis and coordinated action.

Raising awareness

Through our publications, media outreach and engagement with civil society leaders and policy makers, we build awareness and facilitate informed debate about transnational business and human rights. 

Advancing solutions

We develop and promote policy recommendations to advance corporate accountability in Canada. For instance, as a member of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability we’re helping shape policy proposals to improve access to remedy for people harmed by Canadian companies abroad. We’re building momentum towards the adoption of policy and legal frameworks that compel companies to respect human rights in their operations worldwide.

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Learn more

About our work promoting corporate accountability

About our work promoting access to justice in Canada’s courts

About our staff, advisory group and partners

Our background, structure and supporters

Above Ground builds on the work of the Halifax Initiative, a coalition of Canadian civil society organizations that played a leadership role in advocating for just international economic policy and corporate accountability from 1994 to 2015.

After the Halifax Initiative closed its doors in 2015, Above Ground was created as a charitable project on Tides Canada’s shared platform. Tides Canada is a national charity that provides governance, human resources, and financial and grant management for leading environmental and social projects across Canada. Tides Canada has full fiduciary and governance responsibility for Above Ground.

Above Ground is committed to principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity; for more information, please see Tides Canada’s accessibility policy and plan.

Above Ground’s funders include the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the SAGE Fund.