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Articles

  1. What's the public sector equality duty? - Citizens Advice
  2. Integrating corruption and human rights risk
  3. Public Sector Values

Such engagements include information sharing and exchange; attempts to resolve disputes arising from allegations made by stakeholder groups; and the development of collaborative projects to improve corporate understanding of and action on human rights issues, including independent monitoring.

Other efforts have focused on collaborative efforts to address discrete issues such as the use of security forces in conflict areas, and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples. The Universal Declaration is the basis for most other human rights principles embodied in international agreements and international law, national law, standards adopted by commercial entities, and standards proposed by stakeholder organizations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The UDHR, the fundamental human rights benchmark, establishes principles on issues such as equal pay for equal work, equal protection under law, freedom of association, the right to own property, and non-discrimination.

State Department's annual report on human rights conditions in all nations. Several of the rights established in the UDHR relate specifically to business. United Nations Covenants: Other covenants adopted by the United Nations provide additional human rights standards. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an example of a U. The ILO is a tripartite body i. ILO conventions become national law when they are ratified or formally approved by national legislatures.

ILO conventions have been used as the basis for many corporate codes of conduct.

ILO Tripartite Convention on Multinational Enterprises: This convention establishes principles governing the global operations of multinational companies on issues such as health and safety and non-discrimination. The convention, like others adopted through the ILO process, reflects the perspective of labor, business and government. This effort has won support from businesses in all regions of the world. Amnesty International Guidelines for Companies: The business unit of the London-based human rights group Amnesty International has established Human Rights Guidelines for Companies, a set of principles concerning the link between business and human rights.

These principles call upon companies to "ensure the protection of human rights in their own operations" and "use their influence to mitigate the violation of human rights by governments, the forces of law and order or opposition groups in countries in which they operate.

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What's the public sector equality duty? - Citizens Advice

Specifically, the guidelines address: 1 Personnel policies and practices for the operations of a company and its global business partners; 2 Security arrangements used in the operations of a company and its global business partners, including governments; and 3 A company's responsibility for upholding, implementing and monitoring human rights standards.

They include principles based on international covenants regarding the rights of indigenous persons, employees and women, and refer to several international human rights agreements. Global Sullivan Principles : The Reverend Leon Sullivan, who established the original Sullivan Principles in the s aimed at promoting equal opportunity in South Africa, developed a new set of Global Sullivan Principles in to guide the global behavior of multinational companies.

The Global Sullivan Principles, developed with the help of several multinationals, are a set of eight directives on labor, ethics, and environmental practices of multinational companies and their business partners. Chevron, General Motors and Colgate Palmolive are some of the companies that have signed on to the principles. Fair Labor Association: The FLA, originally convened by President Clinton in , is an organization whose members include several apparel and footwear manufacturers, more than universities, and human rights, consumer, religious, shareholder and labor rights groups.

The FLA developed in a Workplace Code of Conduct and Monitoring Principles addressing issues such as child labor, wages and benefits, health and safety, and freedom of association. Participating companies commit to conducting both internal and independent external monitoring of their facilities and those of their contractors, and to using independent external monitors accredited by the FLA.

Social Accountability The Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency has established SA, a standard for assessing labor conditions in global manufacturing operations. SA addresses issues including prison labor, wages, child labor, and health and safety, and relies on certified monitors to verify factory compliance with the standard.

Industry Associations: Several trade associations in the United States and internationally have developed codes of practice for their members. Several importers organizations such as the American Apparel Manufacturers Association AAMA and the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries have established codes, and exporters groups such as the Salvadoran Apparel Manufacturers Association also have created standards as well as mechanisms to enforce these standards.

The Norwegian Confederation of Business NHO has established a set of human rights guidelines for Norwegian companies operating globally, and the Danish Confederation of Business has embarked on a three-year project to develop guidelines as well. Experience demonstrates that companies in different industrial sectors may face different human rights issues. Performing a diagnostic may include a review of the human rights practices in the countries and regions in which products are manufactured, purchased, extracted or grown; the degree to which business partners operate their companies consistent with human rights practices; the views of stakeholder groups concerning the human rights records of governments in countries where the company has operations, and the types of human rights principles that are relevant to the company's operations or those of its partners.

Such a diagnostic can help determine the degree to which company activities are conducted consistent with human rights principles. Establish Formal Human Rights Policy: Companies committed to ensuring that their operations help promote respect for human rights often establish corporate human rights principles and standards. These policies vary depending on the nature of the business and the types of global business relationships the company has. At minimum, most such statements express a company's intentions to promote compliance with human rights standards in its overseas business operations.

Human rights policies may take the form of codes of conduct for the global supply chain; a set of country selection principles to ensure that human rights conditions are factored into decisions about whether and how to conduct business in various countries; or inclusion of human rights in a company's global code of ethics or practice. The policy may also include a commitment to measure the company's performance or that of its business partners.

As noted above, a growing number of companies are amending their global business principles to include reference to human rights.

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Make the Policy Operational: Once a policy is established, it is important to ensure that it is implemented. This typically means translating the policy into action steps for global staff. This task is made more important -- and more complicated -- by the fact that many human rights principles were originally intended to apply primarily to governments. Translating these principles into guidelines directly relevant to business is therefore critical. These can include: communicating the code to internal staff and business partners; illustrating the practical meaning of the code through descriptive guidebooks and training sessions; developing methods to monitor compliance, either by tasking and training internal staff with this function or hiring external monitors; and providing the tools and information needed to enforce the code, such as audit documents and measuring devices.

Country selection guidelines can be put in practice by: identifying the situations in which the guidelines are invoked; gathering information from knowledgeable sources on human rights issues in selected countries; and ensuring that the country selection process is applied impartially. Communicate Policy Internally and Externally: As human rights policies typically relate to multinational companies with far-flung activities and partners, communication of the policy is essential to its effective implementation.

The policy should be communicated to company employees in all locations and functions; business partners such as contractors, suppliers, joint venture partners, licensees and agents; public officials whose actions affect the policy; and contractors' employees, whose rights the policy is designed to protect.

The policy can also be communicated to the general public, through the company website or annual report. Establish Internal Management Responsibility: Assigning responsibility for implementation of a corporate human rights policy and creating accountability systems can help ensure the success of the policy.

In recent years, several companies in light consumer products sectors have created human rights staff with dedicated responsibility for overseeing the company's human rights practices. Establish External Accountability: Many human rights violations attributed to businesses operating in the global economy stem at least in part from the actions of business partners or host governments. Effectively addressing human rights, therefore, involves establishing accountability systems for these partners.

For host governments, accountability may involve the establishment of conditions on further direct investment, with the risk of trade sanctions or international condemnation should violations occur. Conduct Human Rights Training: Compared to some other corporate social responsibility issues, the intersection of business and human rights has been recognized for a relatively short time. Consequently, company staff may be less familiar with human rights principles and their connection to business practices.

In addition, human rights issues may arise in locations with which staff are unfamiliar, or in situations which involve complex political, economic, cultural, social and other issues. To build appropriate expertise and awareness, several companies have begun to provide human rights training to staff in functions and locations where human rights issues may arise. Measure Policy Compliance: Many companies have begun to undertake audits of compliance with their human rights policies. Internal staff, external monitors, local NGOs or a combination of the three may conduct audits.

Business Ethics: Corporate Social Responsibility

Such audits have proven extremely useful in deterring violations, identifying particular problem areas, developing remedies for policy violations and demonstrating the company's commitment to upholding human rights both to internal and external stakeholders. Engage in Outreach: Outreach to external resources is particularly valuable due in part to the relative newness of business initiatives to address human rights. External resources can provide information, contextual understanding, training and tools that can help companies understand and act effectively on human rights.

Integrating corruption and human rights risk

External resources include other business organizations, human rights and other stakeholder groups, national governments and international organizations. They are intended to represent innovation, higher than average commitment, unusual industry practice or a comprehensive approach to this issue.

Periodically, the examples listed may be changed. If you wish to share information about your company's leadership practices or policies, please press the "feedback" button on the bottom right of this screen and provide the relevant information.

Public Sector Values

Many of the company examples and policies cited in this report have been verified and approved. Final approvals for others are pending and information will be modified if necessary. Royal Dutch Shell : In , Shell became the first petrochemical company to formally incorporate respect for human rights into the company's Global Business Principles. Following a round of criticism of its activities and those of other oil companies operating in Nigeria, Shell engaged in a series of global dialogues with stakeholder groups. This process led the company to adopt its revised Global Business Principles, and to undertake a full social audit, including a review of its work on human rights issues.

The results of this audit were published in a report called "People, Planet, and Profits," which Shell made publicly available on its website. The Shell website also encourages and facilitates direct feedback on the company's practices, including those relating to human rights. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and St.


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John's University seeks to improve the workplace and build the life skills, vocational skills, academic skills, and confidence of young adult factory workers. Launched in April , the program is currently operating in Nike and Mattel factories in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, reaching a total of over 50, workers. Local universities and development organizations carry out extensive interviews of workers to assess their needs and concerns and then specific programs in education, health, vocational skills training and self-empowerment are developed for each factory.

Reebok's Vice President for Human Rights Programs oversees the company's efforts to monitor its contractors' labor practices, including the delivery of internal human rights training, outreach to stakeholder groups and the development of innovative programs including a recent initiative inviting an Indonesian NGO to examine conditions in a Reebok footwear factory.


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  • In addition, Reebok's Vice President for Human Rights oversees the company's annual human rights award, given to persons under 30 who make a substantial contribution to the advancement of human rights. A selection committee composed of human rights activists and company representatives determines the winners of this award.

    Recent awards have been given to persons addressing women's rights, torture victims, and victims of military repression. Reebok also supports the Lawyers' Committee on Human Rights' Witness Program, which arms human rights groups with the tools of mass communication such as video cameras and fax machines, and has made prime-time advertising available to Amnesty International USA. The Association operates the Foundation through the financial contributions from nearly 3, companies. Abrinq's activities include influencing public policy on children's rights, financing educational opportunities for children, and providing technical assistance and funds to community development programs that aid children, including libraries and clinics.

    Abrinq also launched the Child Friendly Company Program in , which includes a labeling system. To qualify for the label, companies must formally commit to respect Brazil's minimum age of 14, communicate their commitment throughout their supply chain, submit to investigations of their commitment, and support a program dedicated to the educational or social development of children. Mattel, Inc. As part of the independent monitoring system, the company established an independent monitoring council which helped company staff create Mattel's Global Manufacturing Principles and which has begun to conduct a series of audits of conditions in plants that produce Mattel products.

    Results of the first audits, conducted in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, were made public in a report issued in November Human rights advocacy groups have commended Mattel for undertaking the audit and publishing results of its findings, while cautioning that the council's recommendations must be heeded.

    The Framework is being implemented through partnerships with organizations like CARE to support community development projects in countries including Indonesia, Kenya and Guatemala from which Starbucks sources coffee beans. The Country Assessment Guidelines are intended to help us assess these issues. The Guidelines are tools that assist us in making practical and principled business decisions as we balance the potential risks and opportunities associated with conducting business in a particular country.

    In making these decisions, we consider the degree to which our global corporate reputation and commercial success may be exposed to unreasonable risk. In making these assessments, we take into account the various types of business activities and objectives proposed e. We believe that people should work because they want or need to, but not because they are forced to do so.

    We believe that people have the right to freely associate with whichever organizations or individuals they choose. We believe that children should not be unlawfully employed as laborers.