Sir Geoffrey Chandler's death
Responding to the death yesterday of the influential business and human rights figure Sir Geoffrey Chandler CBE, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:
“Sir Geoffrey was a towering figure within Amnesty.
“He was a founding member of Amnesty International UK’s Business and Human Rights Group and was the driving force in the development of our work on business and human rights.
“Sir Geoffrey knew better than most that businesses have a profound responsibility to uphold human rights and the human rights movement has been richer for his work.
“He will be dearly missed.”
Sir Geoffrey was the founder of Amnesty International UK’s Business and Human Rights Group in 1991 and remained its chair until 2001. After he stepped down he remained extremely influential and active, continuing to work with Amnesty in this field.
Sir Geoffrey had been a director at Royal Dutch Shell and this experience was especially valuable in his human rights work.
Sir Geoffrey died yesterday following a heart attack at St George’s Hospital in London
Note on Sir Geoffrey’s life
During World War II Geoffrey’s war service included working with the Greek resistance in German-occupied Greece. After the war and after graduating from Cambridge University, he began his career as a journalist for the BBC and Financial Times. He subsequently spent 22 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Geoffrey was a Director of Shell Petroleum, Shell Petroleum NV and Shell International. He initiated Shell’s first Statement of General Business Principles in 1976. His years with Shell were internationally-focused, including work on West Africa and in the Caribbean (based in Trinidad).
In 1978 Sir Geoffrey was appointed by Prime Minister Callaghan to be Director General of the UK National Economic Development Office, a position he held for five years. Geoffrey was Director of Industry Year 1986, leader of the subsequent campaign “Industry Matters”, and Chair of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations from 1989 to 1996. He has written books on Greece and Trinidad and numerous articles on corporate responsibility and human rights.
Besides human rights and business, Sir Geoffrey had diverse interests, including music, the study of butterflies and gardening.