International accountants and business advisers Wenham Major is calling on companies to show more support for human rights issues.
The firm has taken the lead and established Humanade, a grant giving and fund-raising charitable trust that will provide support to human rights causes.
Its aim is to achieve permanent improvements in the lives of individuals and families affected by violations of human rights. A quarter of the funds resources will be allocated locally in areas where Wenham Major has offices.
Humanade has garnered support from the fashion industry. Joseph Corre, the founder of the leading lingerie brand, Agent Provocateur, is a trustee alongside lawyer John Crabtree and Wenham Major director John Edwards.
The charity officially launches next Wednesday, February 20, with a star-studded fund-raising event at Birmingham's Town Hall.
Midlands business leaders will join a celebrity guest-list that includes international fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler; Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti; Lady Gabriella Windsor and Jasmine Guinness.
Wenham Major executive chairman Ammar Azam said: "It is incumbent on businesses to take an active part in support of human rights. Not least because consumers are increasingly sensitive to the human rights records of the countries where their goods and services are manufactured or supplied.
"This is not just about emerging economies or third world countries; there are many human rights issues being exploited by prosperous countries in both the East and West. We need to take a stand and put pressure on governments to improve their human rights records."
He added: "I don't want people to think this is all one-way traffic; I have been very heartened by the tangible support Humanade is receiving from our clients in regions like the Middle East and Asia. Moreover, a quarter of the funds raised will go to support local causes."
Both Joseph Corre and John Crabtree paid tribute to Wenham Major for its generous endowment and commitment to a cause that is still seen by many businesses as being a difficult option.
Mr Corre commented: "Even those companies that operate in international markets and are fortunate enough not to experience any serious abuses of human rights, still shy away from speaking out on behalf of those less blessed."
The fund-raising event will auction some unique prizes from the worlds of fashion and sports, including a five-star Model for a Day experience at Dame Westwood's Carrousel du Louvre. Humanade's first commitment has been to fund Reprieve's "Next Friend" initiative, which links secret prisoners with legal representation.
Tickets are available by contacting email@example.com.