About Us

Above Ground works to ensure that companies based in Canada or supported by the Canadian state respect human rights and the environment 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 produce in-depth research and analysis of the human rights impacts of Canadian companies’ overseas operations, the legal context in which they operate, and Canada’s legal duties relating to business and human rights.

See our reports and other publications

Collaboration and convening

We work in close collaboration with other human rights advocates in Canada and internationally. We contribute subject matter expertise on legal and policy issues to several civil society coalitions, and convene key players to facilitate informed analysis and coordinated action on business and human rights.

For instance, in partnership with the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, in 2017 we brought together nearly 150 participants from government, business, academia, the legal profession and civil society to explore international developments in corporate accountability and opportunities for Canada to become a leader in this field.

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. 

See our latest news and press releases

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. With this work, 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.