Business can no longer disregard the human rights impact

Respecting human rights is a requirement under international law, but it should not be viewed as a burden on the business community. In fact, it is a way for companies to flourish and increase their value, as international markets increasingly prioritise responsible business practices. –

THE concepts of business and human rights may have traditionally been seen as distinct from, and possibly even at odds with, one another. But businesses can contribute positively to the realisation of human rights, including the right to work for fair remuneration and achieve an adequate standard of living. On the other hand, when businesses make use of forced labour, provide unsafe working conditions, grab land from indigenous populations, or cause environmental destruction, the adverse impact can be immense.

Such labour or human rights abuses may occur in the context of a company’s own activities, but businesses may also be linked to abuses via relationships with their suppliers and service-providers. This is a worldwide problem, whether it is clothing produced in sweatshops, seafood caught by victims of human trafficking on fishing trawlers or minerals and metals found in mobile phones and computers, that are mined in dangerous conditions or even funding conflicts.

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