Human Rights and Global Business
The UN Global Compact has established ten principles to deal with the issue of human rights in a global business economy. It is far easier to enforce human rights violations within a single country, but in today’s global business, a company can go unchecked due to its size, reach and location.
These principles are derived from important documents such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other UN and international declarations. The principles do not just address human rights, labor issues and corrupt business practices, but environmental issues as well. These guidelines were issued by the UN in the hopes of helping companies establish a value system that will hold fast no matter where the company is based or what the company does.
In the area of human rights, the Global Compact states that companies and businesses need to actively acknowledge and abide by international human rights standards when dealing with people, whether they be employees, competitors, innocent bystanders or members of the community where the company is located.
Companies must also make sure that they are not involved in human rights abuses passively. Examples of passive human rights abuses include negligence, willful ignorance, turning a blind eye or contracting with other companies that violate human rights. In the area of labor rights, the Global Compact states that companies and businesses are not allowed to squelch collective bargaining or freedom of association, use child labor, utilize forced and compulsory labor and discriminate in respect of employment and occupation.
The Global Compact to also requires companies and businesses to be responsible in their dealings with the environment. Far too many devastating environmental issues have been caused by carelessness or callousness towards the environment.
Companies need to asses the effects they have upon the environment and work to find ways to lessen or eliminate the negative impact. Companies should not only practice environmental responsibility but promote it as well, along with developing environmentally friendly technologies. The final principle addresses anti corruption and instructs companies to actively reject and work against all forms of corruptions. Corruption includes practices such as extortion and bribery.