6 Ways to Integrate Human Rights in Workplaces
Building a culture of human rights and equality in the workplace requires enterprises and organizations to take a planned and systematic approach.
According to the most recent survey of companies participating in the UN Global Compact, over 90% of surveyed companies report to have established policies and practices on human rights, but less than 20% say that they conduct human rights due diligence or impact assessments. To protect human rights, taking the following steps are essential.
1) Understand risks and impacts: Identify your business’s human rights risks and impacts and know your scope of responsibility.
2) Educate employees: Ensure they are aware of basic human rights principles so they are better prepared and can help integrate them into the business.
3) Articulate commitment: Publicly share your company’s commitment to human rights through a policy or statement.
4) Embed in the business: Integrate human rights into existing business systems and processes; develop capacity building for relevant personnel.
5) Be transparent: Engage with relevant stakeholders and rights-holders; report publicly on progress and challenges.
6) Provide remedy: Develop an appropriate remedy where the company has caused or contributed to harm.
These best practices, aligned with the UN Guiding Principles, represent some concrete ways Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can respect and integrate human rights into their business operations.
By following these steps, a business can make significant strides towards improving human rights standards along its entire value chain, which will bring employees’ job satisfaction, community support, and customer satisfaction.
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