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An Overview of Business and Human Rights

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Luncheon Talk 18 Feb 2008

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An Overview of Business and Human Rights

  1. 1. 1 February 18th Bangkok Business & Human Rights: A new development in Business Management Presentation to the Bangkok Net Impact Chapter Agenda 1. Business and Human Rights: a recent trend 2. Any of your business? 3. Action Framework 4. Business policy and management of Human Rights: Benefits 5. Discussion and next steps Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend What are we talking about? Shift from compliance with national laws to commitment to international Human Rights Standards Code of Conduct/Ethics referring to Human Rights Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend • UN initiatives – UN Global Compact – Launched 2000 – 3,900 businesses engaged • 10 voluntary principles for businesses, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the ILO's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work • Respect and promote the internationally proclaimed Human Rights • Make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses – UN Special Representative on Businesses and Human Rights: John Ruggie – Started 2005, final report due in June 2008 Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend • Companies’ recognition of labour rights 87% 75% 66% 60% 36% 30% 24% 80% 67% 50% 29% Right to non-discrimination Right to a safe work environment Freedom of association, right to collective bargaining Abolition of forced and child labour Right to minimum wage, including decent living Right to rest and leisure, including holidays with pay Right to family life, including maternity leave World Asia Survey for John Ruggie mandate, released 2007 Analysis of 300 companies’ documentation
  2. 2. 2 Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend • Companies’ recognition of non-labour rights Survey for John Ruggie mandate, released 2007 Analysis of 300 companies’ documentation 19% 16% 13% 9% Right to privacy Right to life, Liberty, and Security of the person Freedom from torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment Right to development World Involvement of Business into Human Rights: a recent trend • Companies’ commitments to international instruments Survey for John Ruggie mandate, released Sept. 2006 Questionnaire to Fortune 500 companies’, 102 respondents 91% 85% 71% 68% 57% 41% Companies with an explicit set of principles/management practices regarding human rights Companies carrying out human rights assessments for particular projects (routinely/occasionaly) ILO Declaration or Conventions Universal Declaration of Human Rights Global Compact OECD Guidelines World Business involvement in Human Rights: Which human rights? • Labour rights widely recognised • ILO conventions 29, 105, 87, 98, 100, 111, 138, 182 • Economic, Social and Cultural rights: rising • Right to water • Right to health • Right to development • Culural rights • Migrant/indigenous rights • Political and civil rights: still behind • In addition, companies can not breach international humanitarian law Human Rights: Any of your business? Human Rights: A business risk of companies which responded to J. Ruggie Fortune 500 survey say they have already experienced a significant Human Rights issue 46% Survey for John Ruggie mandate, released Sept. 2006 Questionnaire to Fortune 500 companies’, 102 respondents Human Rights: A business risk • Reputational risk Bangkok Post, Feb. 17, 2008 Bang Saphan Sahaviriya Group Steel project
  3. 3. 3 Human Rights: A business risk • Reputational risk – FFI (Garment factory, India) / G Star Brand (Europe) • December 1st, 2007: international arrest warrant against activists following a complaint from FFI. • International NGO campaign - G Star severs its business relationships from FFI • January 31st: FFI withdraws the complain – G-Star resumes relationships Human Rights: A business risk Klity case Colbat-60 case • Judicial risk Human Rights: A business risk • Judicial risk – France, 2005: Total signs agreement with Burmese workers concerning Yadana field in Burma • 5,2 millions Euros Fund for Burma • Plaintifs indemnisation – US/China, November 2007: Yahoo! signs a financial agreement with Chinese activits families + creates a fund Human Rights: A business risk • Financial risk – Norwegian Government Fund exclusions for human rights abuses, corruption or environmental damage 09.11.2007 Vedanta Resources Plc. Sterlite Industries Ltd. Madras Aluminium Company Ltd. 11.04.2007 DRD Gold Limited 06.12.2006 Poongsan Corporation 06.06.2006 Wal-Mart Stores Inc/Wal-Mart de Mexico SA de CV Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc 05.01.2006 BAE Systems Plc. Boeing Co. Finmeccanica Sp.A. Honeywell International Inc Northrop Grumman Corp. 05.01.2006 (cont’d) United Technologies Corp. Safran SA 31.08.2005 Alliant Techsystems Inc. EADS Co (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) EADS Finance BV General Dynamics Corporation L3 Communications Holdings Inc. Lockheed Martin Corp. Raytheon Co. Thales SA. 06.06.2005 Kerr-McGee Corporation (reversed 2006) 22.03.2002 Singapore Technologies Engineering Human Rights Policy and Management System: Action framework Human Rights Policy and Management System: Action framework Know your impacts and stakeholders - Assess impacts - Identify current practices and initiatives - Identify risks: which activities, groups affected, countries - Consult stakeholders - Benchmarking, industry good practices Measuring impact, auditing - Take corrective actions Report - Transparent and accessible - To talk with stakeholders Design a policy - Commitments to International Human Rights standards - Write one or several documents - Code of Ethics/Conduct, Code of Suppliers, Investment Principles Implement management systems - What? - When? - Who? - Inform and train the staff Communicate - Inform stakeholders of the policy and the management system - Acknowledge problems Adapted from « Human Rights: A Frame for Action » By BLIHR, UN Global Compact, UN Human Rights Start small Learn Step by step Listen Be transparent
  4. 4. 4 Human Rights Policy and Management System: Action framework – Need help? Support, tools and expertise • International organisations – UN Global Compact - 2008, 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Resources : http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/human_rights/UDHR_60th.html http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/human_rights/index.html • Business organisations, tools – BLIHR www.blihr.org – IBLF http://www.iblf.org/ – Business and Human Rights Assessment Danish Institute - http://www.humanrightsbusiness.org/pdf_files/Quick%20Check%20Eng lish%20.pdf • Information – www.business-humanrights.org (website + free newsletter) Human Rights Policy and Management System: Action framework The Global Compact in Thailand The Global Compact was launched in Thailand during the ILO's Regional Employers' meeting held in Bangkok from 27-28 November 2001 with support from other core UN agencies Contacts Employers Confederation of Thailand Siriwan Romchatthong (contact point) ecot@ecot.org.th Maneethip Chat-Uthai maneethip@ecot.org.th United Nations Development Programme Sirisupa Kulthanan sirisupa.kulthanan@undp.org GC Office Country Coordinator Source http://www.unglobalcompact.org/networksaroundthewo rld/country_contact/thailand.html Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system • International recognised Human Rights standards for companies contribute to a better governance in a globalised world – « There is no magic in marketplace. Markets function efficiently and sustainably only when certain institutional parameters are in place: protection of property rights, the enforceability of contracts, competition, and the smooth flow of information …But a prerequisite is often overlooked: curtailing individual and social harms imposed by markets » John Ruggie, Special Rapporteur, UN Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system Social peace Fair competition • Added value for Thai companies Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system 1st rice exporter worldwide 2nd chicken exporter worldwide 13.8 million foreign tourists in 2006 • Access to markets 3,000ETI Tesco NABSCI Metro 390With FIDH Carrefour 16,000 Wal-Mart ILO standardsSocial auditing (2006) Code of suppliers Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system
  5. 5. 5 Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system • Access to markets – Preparedness of Thai businesses to ISO 26000 • Social guidelines for companies • To be launched in 2010 Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system • Investors confidence – Nam Theun II, Laos • $1,45 Billion • Commercial lenders: Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Kasikorn Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Siam City Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Thai Military Bank… • Highly criticised by NGOs • Extensive social programme to support poverty reduction and development in Laos Benefits of Human Rights Policy and Management system • Efficiency and long-term sustainability Human Resources management Wonderland Products Stakeholders relationships, sustainable sourcing Advance Agro Education Thai society demand Thai Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS Over 4,000 businesses Supporting rural development PDA projects funded by the private sector 28 Discussion and Next Steps Let’s get started Contact details Joëlle Brohier • Co-founder & Editor, www.RSE-et-PED.info – French-language website about CSR, aiming at enhancing the contribution of thé private sector to the Millennium Development Goals through information • Tel 02 260 5159 • Mobile 08 604 74 658 • Joelle.brohier@rse-et-ped.info

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