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UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
As mentioned in Chapter 14 this is the primary document asserting the value of
human rights which came into being in 1948. It is the foundation of modern
international human rights law and represents a set of 30 fundamental and uni-
versal rights forbidding slavery, racial or sexual discrimination and arbitrary
arrest. It also asserts the freedom of speech and freedom of association. It is per-
haps the single most important human rights document produced, due to its
global reach, its influence of the creation of other human rights documents and
the fact that many people think it has acquired international law status when it
is in fact still just a declaration.
The UN is now taking the UDHR and other human rights instruments and
is developing them into guiding human rights principles for businesses in the
21st century; the UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational
Corporations were adopted on 13 August 2003. The UN Norms are a major step
towards placing direct legal obligations on companies although they are
presently more of a template of standards against which corporations can meas-
ure their own codes and practices. They do not, as yet, constitute legal obliga-
tions but the Norms can be viewed as a template for the development of a
sustainable system of human rights risk management and a review of the main
rights is included in the risk management section below.


The United Nations Global Compact
This is a voluntary approach developed within the United Nations (UN) and
over 1300 companies have signed up to the guidelines launched in 1999 at the
World Economic Forum in Davos. The elements of the nine principles of the UN
Global Compact covering corporate behaviour that are relevant to this section
include:
Support and respect the protection of international human rights within their
sphere of influence (Principle 1);
Chapter 15 “ Human rights outside the workplace 353



Make sure their organisation is not complicit in human rights abuses
(Principle 2);
The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour (Principle 4); and
The effective abolition of child labour (Principle 5).


International Labour Organisation Declaration on
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Forced Labour Convention No. 29 (1930), requires the suppression of forced
or compulsory labour (except convict labour);
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention No. 105 (1957), which prohibits the
use of forced or compulsory labour;
Minimum Age Convention No. 138 (1973), calls for the elimination of child
labour and of employment below the age of the completion of compulsory
education; and
Worst Forms of Child Labour No. 182 (1999), calls for the prohibition and
elimination of certain forms of child labour.


Regional conventions
There are a wide range of regional and economic grouping conventions and
charters. We provide a brief list of regional examples of frameworks for human
rights issues:
Africa: the African Charter of 1981, the Protocol on the Establishment of an
African Court on Human and People™s Rights of 1998; and the African Charter
on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990;
Americas: the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man 1948;
the American Convention on Human Rights 1969; and the Inter-American
Conventions on: the Prevention and Punishment of Torture (1985); the
Forced Disappearance of Persons (1994); and the Punishment and
Eradication of Violence Against Women (1994);
Arabia and Islamic region: the Charter of the Council of the League of Arab
States; the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam 1990;
Asia: the Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human
Rights Minsk (1995) covers European and Asian CIS nations who are signato-
ries; for the rest of Asia there has been slow progress on developing a frame-
work that covers the issues we review in this chapter at a regional level; and
Europe: the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1950 has led to the
implementation of national laws covering human rights such as the Human
Rights Act 2000 of the UK. The purpose of the Act is to develop a human rights
culture across all sections of society. As such, the Act is becoming increasingly
relevant for business, particularly with regard to public/private partnerships
and in litigation where all the courts and tribunals are now required to apply
the ECHR. There are several others including the European Social Charter 1961
and the 2000 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
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The Global Sullivan Principles (GSP)
The GSP were developed by the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner, the
Reverend Leon Sullivan, in 1977 to get US companies to afford the same rights
to their South African workers as their US counterparts, regardless of race.
The objectives of the Global Sullivan Principles are to support economic, social and politi-
cal justice by companies where they do business; to support human rights and to encourage
equal opportunity at all levels of employment, including racial and gender diversity on deci-
sion making committees and boards; to train and advance disadvantaged workers for techni-
cal, supervisory and management opportunities; and to assist with greater tolerance and
understanding among peoples; thereby, helping to improve the quality of life for communi-
ties, workers and children with dignity and equality. (Quote from www.thegsp.org)


The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
These principles have been developed as a collaborative action by the govern-
ments of the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as companies in
the extractive and energy sectors and NGOs to guide companies in balancing
the needs for safety while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Available at www.voluntaryprinciples.org

The Ethical Trading Initiative
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations that promote the implemen-
tation of corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions.
(www.ethicaltrade.org/)

Alien Torts Claims Act
This US law allows organisations to be sued in US courts for human rights vio-
lations committed outside the US, like the Sudanese people who sued
Talisman and the government of Sudan for alleged collusion with security
forces and ˜ethnic cleansing™.

OECD Guidelines
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for
Multi-National Enterprises (known as the OECD Guidelines) and the
International Labour Organisation™s Tripartite Declaration of Principles con-
cerning Multi-National Enterprises and Social Policy are endorsed by states but
are voluntary codes for companies.


Social Accounting
The Council for Economic Priorities (CEP) set up a social analysis framework,
SA 8000, based on the six basic conventions of the ILO, as well as the UN
Chapter 15 “ Human rights outside the workplace 355



Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child. The organisations applying for the standard:
Should not engage in child or forced labour, nor should employees have to
lodge deposits or leave identity papers with the company;
Should provide a safe and healthy working environment and shall minimise
as far as reasonable practicable the causes of hazards inherent in the working
environment; and
Shall not engage in or support discrimination in the advertising of vacancies,
or the hiring, compensation, training promotion, or retirement of employees
based on:
Caste;
Disability;
Gender;
Race; and
Sexual orientation.


Risk management and organisational best practice
To be effective a sustainable risk management system and risk due diligence
procedure need to take into consideration human rights issues, whether inter-
nally, such as health and safety issues and recruitment and human resources
procedures, or externally, including the issues covered in the next chapters as
well as community and customer-related concerns and risks.
There are a lot of codes and initiatives and it is difficult to figure out which
are best practice and which can be practically implemented. So the following
framework has been set out to act as an outline process of identifying corporate
vision, key issues, objectives, targets, the establishment of the systems to achieve
these, and the monitoring and reviewing of performance. The UN Norms at the
end of this section can help inform each of the stages of this process.
The first stage is to conduct a due diligence review of the human rights ele-
ment of the risk management system, this should aim to:
Identify the extent of your human rights responsibilities;
Put the systems and processes in place to manage these issues; and
Perform a gap analysis to see where improvements could be made.
The review should include:
An analysis of the extent and scale of the organisation™s activities, including
indirect operations of business and joint venture partners, suppliers and
subcontractors;
The organisation™s human rights impacts to date and the issues that may arise
in the future. Internally this could involve looking at the issues of direct rel-
evance to employees like:
The activities of the organisation, its business partners, its supply
chain and issues like bribery and corruption (reviewed in Chapters 7, 9
and 10);
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Collective bargaining, freedom of association, equal opportunities and
anti-discrimination measures (Chapter 14); and
The health and safety concerns in the workplace (Chapter 16).
The workplace human rights issues covered in this chapter such as:
Stakeholder and community and indigenous people™s human rights issues
(Chapters 9, 12 and 15); and
Health and safety concerns for customers, including the positive and neg-
ative impacts of products and services (Chapter 17).
A review of the regulatory requirements, the legislation, codes of practice,
standards or voluntary agreements that apply to the organisation™s activities
and any stakeholder expectations that may exist;
An assessment of the current systems and procedures that can assist in the
facilitation of human rights risk management, with a focus on both internal
and external considerations;
The establishment of strengthened policies and risk management processes
for a range of human resource-related human rights issues that will assist
your organisation become more ˜sustainable™. Businesses should put in
place internal rules of operation in compliance with human rights principles;
and
The review should ensure that the organisation™s framework is actually
assisting with the implementation of a sustainable human rights risk manage-
ment system by:
Putting in place internal rules of operation in compliance with the principles;
Incorporating the relevant human rights principles into their contracts and
dealings with business partners, suppliers, contractors, subcontractors as
well as their own operations;
Undertaking periodic monitoring to ensure compliance with the stated
rules of operation and this could include suppliers, etc., and their applica-
tion of the principles; and
There should be risk impact assessments and reparation made to those
adversely affected by failures to comply with the risk management system
or chosen human rights principles.

The UN UDHR framework (http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html) and more
specifically for business organisations the UN ˜Norms™ (http://www.unhchr.ch/)
are useful tools to help scope the risk being faced. The UN Norms on the Res-
ponsibilities of Transnational Corporations can help provide a basis for an assess-
ment of human rights risks such as: the sectors of industrial activity; the location
and scale of operations; the product or service offered; the power and influence of
the company, the type and location of consumers, the current human rights situa-
tion in host countries and the proximity to potential human rights violations.
The main rights with regards to an organisation™s sustainable risk manage-
ment system are outlined below:

General obligations of individuals and organisations: the recognition that all
humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights, have reasoning and
Chapter 15 “ Human rights outside the workplace 357



conscience and should behave towards their fellow humans in a spirit of
brotherhood (Article 1 of the UNHDR). Businesses are expected to respect,
prevent abuses of, and promote human rights. As Article 1 of the UN Norms
states, organisations should:
within their respective spheres of activity and influence, transnational corporations
and other business enterprises have the obligation to promote, secure the fulfilment of,
respect, ensure respect of and protect human rights recognised in international as well
as national law, including the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and other vul-
nerable groups.

Organisations and individuals shall ensure equality of opportunity and non-
discriminatory treatment (covered in Chapter 14) without distinction of any
kind treatment for the purpose of eliminating discrimination based on race,
colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin,
social status, birth or indigenous status, disability or age (UDHR and Norms
Article 2);
Organisations should promote the right to security of persons (covered in
Chapters 16 and 17):
The right to life, liberty and security of person (UDHR Article 3). Your
security arrangements for businesses should observe international human
rights as well as the laws and professional standards of the countries in
which they operate. This may well be viewed as the protection of staff but
also local communities and consumer groups.
Organisations should not: engage in, nor benefit from:
˜War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture, forced disappear-
ance, forced or compulsory labour, hostage-taking, extrajudicial, summary
or arbitrary executions, other violations of humanitarian law and other
international crimes against the human person as defined by international
law™ (UN Norms Article 3 and UDHR Articles 3, 4 and 5);
˜Security arrangements for transnational corporations and other business
enterprises shall observe international human rights norms as well as the
laws and professional standards of the country or countries in which they
operate™ (UN Norms Article 4); and
Individuals should be afforded fair trials with a presumption of innocence
and guarantee of the provision of a defence (UDHR Articles 6“11).
Privacy: Article 12 of the UN UDHR says that there should be freedom from
arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home life or correspondence
(viewed in Chapter 14);
Freedom of beliefs and how they can be expressed: UDHR Articles 18“20

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