Human rights and business
- 1 Timeline
- 2 Human rights due diligence
- 3 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- 4 United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- 5 Human Rights Impact Assessment
- 6 Ykkösketjuun
- 7 See also in Wikipedia
- 8 External links to sites combating modern slavery and human trafficking
- 9 External links to sites dealing with human rights in business
- 10 References
- In 1839 the w:Anti-Slavery International (antislavery.org) organization was founded
- In 1900 the International Association for Labour Legislation (IALL), an epistemic community was fouded
- In 1919 the w:International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded by the w:League of Nations, which was superseded by the UN
- In 1976 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights came into effect
- In 1976 the w:OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises were adopted by the w:OECD. The guidelines have been revised in 1979, 1982, 1984, 1991, 2000 and 2011.
- In 1998 the w:Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work was declared by ILO.
- In 1992 the w:International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour was created by the ILO.
- In 1999 the w:United Nations Global Compact, a non-binding United Nations pact to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation was announced.
- In 2011 the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were adopted
- In 2015 the w:Modern Slavery Act 2015 was enacted in the UK. An amendment called 'Transparency in Supply Chain Provisions' was added that requires UK companies whose turnover exceeds £36 to publicly submit a HRDD report or alternatively state that they haven't done HRDD.
- In 2016 the TISCReport.org was launched. It is the World's largest Open Data Register committed to ending Modern Slavery and supply chain labour abuses, by joining up Transparency In Supply Chains (TISC) reporting globally.
- In 2016 the German National Action Plan for the implementation of the UNGPs for 2016-2020 is published. The Green Party supports a motion calling for HRDD obligations and in 2017 the SPD includes HRDD in their electoral program.
- In 2017 the lower house of the Dutch parliament adopted the Child Labour Due Diligence Bill, but it is yet to pass in the Senate. When it passes it will become legally binding on January 1 2020.
- In 2019 New government of Finland takes the task into its program to make a business responsibility law.from 
Human rights due diligence
“Due diligence is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain w:standard of care.”
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The w:International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a multilateral treaty approved by the UN General Assembly. It came into force in 1976 and it commits its parties to work toward the granting of w:economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to the Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories and individuals, including w:labour rights and the w:right to health, the w:right to education, and the w:right to an adequate standard of living. (Wikipedia)
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The w:United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were presented in 2011 and are considered to be the first global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity, and continue to provide the internationally accepted framework for enhancing standards and practice regarding business and human rights.
The UNGPs encompass three pillars outlining how states and businesses should implement the framework:
- The state duty to protect human rights
- The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
- Access to remedy for victims of business-related abuses
Human Rights Impact Assessment
“Human Rights Impact Assessment is a process for systematically identifying, predicting and responding to the potential human rights impacts of a business operation, capital project, government policy, or trade agreement. It is designed to complement a company or government’s other impact assessment and due diligence processes and to be framed by appropriate international human rights principles and conventions.”
In 2018 a Finnish due diligence law project, #Ykkösketjuun was launched to drive forward the need for a due diligence law that makes makes companies liable for unsustainable business practices also abroad.
In 2019 the new Finnish government published their program that contained the 3 following instances of the Finnish word "yritysvastuu", which is translated to "business responsibility". One could translate it as "liability" and in fact it does bring new liabilities for some businesses, but if you are responsible, you'll never be held liable for anything.
|Finnish / suomeksi||Translated to English from ||Commentary|
"Suomi kehittää yhteistyössä elinkeinoelämän kanssa yritysvastuuta koskevaa sitovaa sääntelyä osana YK:n ja OECD:n puitteissa tapahtuvaa uudistamistyötä."
"Finland, in cooperation with the [domestic] business and livelyhood [organizations], develops the regulation regarding business responsibility partaking in the reformation work at the UN and the OECD."
"Selvitetään mahdollisuutta huolellisuusvelvoitteeseen perustuvaan EU-tasoiseen yritysvastuulakiin, joka huomioi eri kokoiset yritykset ja kansainväliset arvoketjut."
"We explore the possibility for a due diligence based EU-level business responsibility law, which takes into account different sized businesses and the international value chains."
"Tehdään selvitys, tavoitteena säätää yritysvastuulaki, joka perustuu yrityksille asetettavaan niin kotimaista kuin ulkomaista toimintaa koskevaan huolellisuusvelvoitteeseen. Selvitys tehdään elinkeino-, yrittäjä- ja palkansaajajärjestöjen kanssa ottaen erityisesti huomioon pk-yritysten aseman. Vastaavaa tavoitetta edistetään EU:ssa."
"An exploratory investigation will be made with the aim of legislating a business responsibility law, which is based on a requirement of due diligence in both domestic and foreign operations. The investigation will be conducted in conjunction with business and livelyhood, entrepreneurs' and workers' interest groups, paying special attention to the sitations SMEs. The same goal will be advanced in the EU."
See also in Wikipedia
- w:International labour law
- w:Corporate accountability for human rights violations
- w:Labour standards in the World Trade Organization
- w:List of human rights organisations
- w:List of human rights articles by country
- w:List of International Labour Organization Conventions
- w:List of organizations that combat human trafficking
- Anti-slavery (.org) was founded in 1839 and is the oldest international human rights organisation in the world.
- End Slavery Now (.org) is a US based anti-slavery organization.
- Free The Slaves (.net) liberating slaves and changing the conditions that allow slavery to persist
- The Freedom Fund (.org) is a leader in the global movement to end modern slavery.
- Freedom United (.org) is the world’s largest community dedicated to ending human trafficking & modern slavery.
- Focus on Labour EXploitation (FLEX) (.org) works to reduce human trafficking and labour exploitation.
- The Walk Free Foundation (.org) is a global anti-slavery organization.
- As You Sow (.org) works in advancing shareholder advocacy and runs the Responsible Sourcing Network (.org) with programs on cotton, minerals and anti-slavery.
- Business & Human Rights in Law (.org)
- Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (.org) runs, among other things the Modern Slavery Registry (.org).
- Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (.org) is an in-depth benchmark made by a not for profit company, CHRB Ltd., created in 2013. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative and draws on investor, business and human rights, and benchmarking expertise from its stakeholders. Research and data is provided by Vigeo Eiris (.com), Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (.org) and RepRisk (.com)
- Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law (.com)
- The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) .org is an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe.
- Global Living Wage coalition (.org)
- KnowTheChain (.org) is a resource for companies and investors to understand and address forced labor risks within their global supply chains.
- International Rights Advocates (.org) promotes human rights and corporate accountability through legal advocacy and capacity building.
- Sedex Global (.com) provides tools for both producers and buyers to improve the responsibility of their business operations and develops the SMETA audit methodology (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit).
- Verité (.org) provides knowledge and tools to eliminate the most serious labor and human rights abuses in global supply chains.