BUSINESSES SHOULD SUPPORT AND RESPECT THE PROTECTION OF INTERNATIONALLY PROCLAIMED HUMAN RIGHTS.
What can companies do?
Here are some examples of how companies are supporting and respecting human rights through their daily activities:
In the workplace:
- by providing safe and healthy working conditions,
- by guaranteeing freedom of association,
- by ensuring non-discrimination in personnel practices,
- by ensuring that they do not use directly or indirectly forced labour or child labour,
- by providing access to basic health, education and housing for the workers and their families, if these are not provided elsewhere,
- by having an affirmative action programme to hire victims of domestic violence, and
- by making reasonable accommodations for all employees' religious observance and practices
In the community:
- by preventing the forcible displacement of individuals, groups or communities,
- by working to protect the economic livelihood of local communities,
- by contributing to the public debate. Companies interact with all levels of government in the countries where they operate. They therefore have the right and responsibility to express their views on matters that affect their operations, employees, customers and the communities of which they are a part,
- through differential pricing or small product packages create new markets that also enable the poor to gain access to goods and services that they otherwise could not afford
- by fostering opportunities for girls to be educated to empower them and also helps a company to have a broader and more skilled pool of workers in the future, and
- perhaps most importantly, a successful business which provides decent work, produces quality goods or services that improve lives, especially for the poor or other vulnerable groups, is an important contribution to sustainable development, including human rights.
- If companies use security services to protect their operations, they must ensure that existing international guidelines and standards for the use of force are respected
(Source: Principle 1)