Business and Human Rights: 7 Steps Guide for Managers

Any business structure influences the observance of human rights through activities or the formation of commerce relations. It can be positive in the case of ensuring safe working conditions and decent pay. However, there are examples of negative impacts through the use of child or forced labor. The spread of confidential data, lack of basic comfort and pollution of the environment also applies to similar errors.

The Seven Steps for Managers

If the company carries out a grandiose work on the upbringing of the legal culture, in the long run, it replenishes the ranks of respected brands. Such a reputation helps to attract investment and enhances consumer loyalty. The UN principles are not binding, but they serve as moral guidelines for honest entrepreneurs. Below is a list of the necessary phases to facilitate doing their responsibilities by managers:

Prepare a Policy Commitment in the Field of Human Rights

A similar procedure indicates a comprehending of the significance of the problem. This may be a separate statement or a corporate code item. Be sure to indicate your desire to be guided by national and international standards within the firm. An akin petition identifies potential issues related to the monitoring of domestic policy. It should be freely available, both for collaborators and for business partners.

Specify your Responsibilities regarding Human Rights in the Company's Culture

It is the leader who must assume the greater part of the responsibility for protecting human capital at the level of high positions. He or she may delegate some of the authority for training or replenish the resources needed to meet the laborers’ needs. In order to cope with the task, you should:

  • To allocate the general accountability according to functions and posts
  • Ensure that coworkers understand the importance of the moment
  • Keep feedback communication
  • Welcome open discussion of problems and joint decisions
  • Motivate staff to conscious risk management
  • Determine the efficiency criteria for running processes
  • Modify existing procedures as required

Identify the Most Serious Risks to Human Rights

It is about constant monitoring, focusing on the efforts of people to aid each other. You will have to track not only the steps taken, but also control their compliance with corporate ethics. The seriousness of the problem lies in the fact that the untimely identification of an obstacle leads to conflicts and the loss of valuable personnel.

Assessing the scale, you should focus on the information received, verify it and predict the possible consequences of your actions. First of all, remember persons, not commerce. Such risks may include:

  • Low level of salary
  • Overtime requirement
  • An absence of a license to use the land, which leads to the closure of the enterprise
  • High level of corruption and conflict atmosphere
  • Weak rule of law
  • The exploitation of low-skilled migrants as cheap labor
  • Lobbying of contradictory laws by transnational corporations

Monitor the Nature of Business Activities

Outlining the range of potential hazards, you must concentrate on ways to prevent them. Distribute own priorities according to the principle of the severity of aftermath, bypassing the simplest assignments. Start with those cases that can bring to death or serious injury involving a disability.

Calculate the number of workers who may be affected by the disaster, the likelihood of occurrence of such events and the degree of irreversibility of the ramifications. To develop the right plan, you need:

  • Involve competent staff to develop solutions
  • Consult with partners, a lawyer or third parties interested in preventive measures
  • Notify all bidders
  • Identify the set of actions, in case of danger. Assign responsible people who will not get lost and behave correctly.

Participate in Informing Laborers and Companions about Human Rights Issues

Close cooperation will facilitate the integration of ideas and innovations. Such interaction includes the following participants:

  • Personalities directly related to the firm's activities, such as staff, supply chain workers, trade union representatives, and community leaders
  • Experts who perceive the perspectives and problems of social cohorts, for example, local non-governmental organizations or scientific institutions
  • Specialists involved in the field of human rights in a particular industry or geographic region. We are talking about national and international companies, trade unions, socially responsible investors, lawyers, and consultants.

Communicate about the Corporate Policy through the Media and own Press Center

Firms are required to report on their successes and failures in eliminating risks to collaborators. First, you have the opportunity to publicly explain and assure the community of your respect for human rights and citizenship. Do it in a format convenient for you through a logically verified narrative.

Secondly, the company once again demonstrates compliance with the reporting requirements and the desire to comply with generally accepted standards. Thirdly, the monitoring bodies will appreciate your fanaticism on this issue. In addition, a lot of investors pay scrupulous attention to the positioning in terms of social responsibility.

You may present the findings in the form of an annual report or a separate statement at the conference. Regardless of the format, this document should be posted on the company's website and available to all interested parties. Do not forget to make a written copy.

Talk about your Problems

Rulers are responsible for implementing an effective procedure for handling complaints from co-workers, customers or communities. With their assistance, you can identify potential human rights risks that in the future may turn into a real headache.

Therefore, when receiving a signal, immediately react to it without expecting an escalation of the conflict. Avoid lengthy and expensive legal procedures. Better think about improving industry norms and business relationships. You should be guided by a formal approach to handling complaints in order to be fair and objective in the sentencing. So, you demonstrate the tendency to solve any issues, regardless of the laborer’s status.

Thus, you received some business and human rights guidance. Managers of companies are directly interested in observance of human rights. Such a policy aids to find a common language not only with the staff but with state bodies and investors. Comprehending the needs of workers, you will provide the firm with reliable and loyal associates who will remain true, even in times of crisis.