INTRODUCTION.In the ever changing world of business it is important that we take into cognizance the role that our behavioral and entrepreneurial pattern have in each other’s lives and our ability to fully live out our individual rights.
It is because of the neglect for such that the United Nations Global Compact Initiative has human rights as one of its core principles. This piece of work is going to be about the benefits and challenges for different international business in relation to the adoption of the global compact, focusing on human rights. The Global Compact as defined by Suder (2008) refers to the interaction of UN agencies, business, non-governmental organizations, societies and governments in an effort to build a sustainable international business environment. Buzan and Lawson (2015) add onto this definition by describing the Global Compact as an interactive approach to achieving responsible and sustainable business.
As one of the principles of the Global Compact Initiative, human rights are privileges and freedom which every person is entitled to by virtue of being human. All basic human rights are found in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They include the right to life, the right to freedom of association, the right to freedom of speech, the right to choice etc. Brems (2001) adds onto this definition by describing human rights as principles and rights given to all people by virtue of being human in an attempt to safeguard their being and are based on ideas of fairness and equality. In this essay we will be assessing some of the major human rights issues and why they are of a global concern and how a global, interactive approach to their protection is the best way forward.HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN THE WORKPLACE.There are several human rights issues that take place in the work place, a lot of them intentional and others unintentional. In this segment we assess the three major likely human rights abuses in the workplace which include discrimination, child labor and working in high risk environments.
There are however other human rights issues like disregard for employee rights in cyber space, women and minority rights etc.WORK PLACE DISCRIMINATION.Chin (2009) defines workplace discrimination as the unfair and prejudicial treatment of certain individuals or groups of people in the workplace due to prejudice. Discrimination comes in two forms, it can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is the actual unfair treatment of other individuals whilst indirect discrimination occurs through the passing of rules and regulations which sideline other people in the work place. People discriminate against others for several reasons including sex, race, disability, nationality etc.
Gregory (2003) argues that marginalized groups in the workplace are put at a disadvantage as their ability to actualize is limited to how they are viewed by those discriminate them. This has a negative repercussion in terms of establishing individual identities but could also harm motivation and productivity in the place of work.CHILD LABOR.With an increase in the utilization of child labor globally it is also important that we take into consideration children’s rights in such working environments.
Child labor can be defined as the exploitative and often illegal employment of children to work in industrial sectors, often manufacturing and agricultural sectors. It is disadvantageous for a variety of reasons, amongst which is the exploitation of children in the workplace by making them work long hours with little and unguaranteed pay. The other is that children are often exposed to things like trafficking and abuse by employers’ who often disregard their most basic rights. But just as important is the need to give children access to things like a decent home, basic education and access to clean water and food, which rarely occurs when young children are turned into laborers. Hindman (2014) describes child labor as a global pandemic which occurs in both the developed and under developed world and an issue we should all pro-actively stand against.
WORK IN HIGH RISK ENVIRONMENTS. Being employed in a mine, in a high tech institution or in a politically volatile area all constitute working in high risk environments. Different businesses have different probabilities of risk attached to them but the mere existence of this risk is reason enough to motivate the global communicate to mitigate against any such risk. This is important especially in the world we live in today where unemployment is rife and individuals do all that they can even when it put them in danger just in order for them to be able to make a decent living. According to Francioni (2001) the people most likely to be affected by human rights abuses in high risk environments are those without any realistic opportunities and are susceptible to abuse by those with the authority, they include migrant workers, women and children.SAFEGUARDING HUMAN RIGHTS .When taking into consideration the abuses that occur in the workplace, we also need to look at the possible solutions to curbing these problems and how corporations can proactively participate in ensuring this.
We are going to be discussing employee education, avoiding corporate complacency and attaching corporate liability to human rights abuses.EMPLOYEE EDUCATION.Adopting a human rights training plan can help staff to understand and respect one another in workplaces. A lot of our prejudices are things we are capable of unlearning but the process of unlearning is one that needs to accommodate the fact that we need time and some degree of external influence to recognize wrong in some of our behavioral patterns. The same can be same for violations that occur subconsciously and without ill intent, by training our staff we allow them to be able to pick such things out and avoid them in advance.
Colella and King (2018) argue that in order to have a tolerant working environment a careful consideration of factors like disability and advancing issues of identity should be prioritized as fields we all need to understand.AVOIDING CORPORATE COMPLACENCY.Corporations need to do more than just train their employees in order to achieve human rights, they also have the added responsibility to make policy and laws which achieve this. An equity and human rights policy is important in ensuring the protection of human rights. For example, the establishment of an equity policy for the equal treatment of women or people with disabilities in the workplace would allow these two minority groups to become more comfortable in the workplace. Wilson (2013) argues that an equitable environment allows for individual to excel in their fields which will yield tremendous fruits for the business.CORPORATE LIABILITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.The government has the greatest responsibility to ensure our human rights are adhered to and to avoid any abuses that could occur if this doesn’t happen.
It is in consideration of this tat governments should also take action against corporations which actively undermine and disregard our human rights. The State has a duty to enact laws to protect its population from human rights abuses and ensure that companies and individuals within these companies don’t act in any way that contravenes these laws. Amongst others could be the enactment of consumer legislation, workplace safety laws and humanitarian laws to ensure maximum safeguard of human rights. Joseph (2004) argues that attaching corporate liability for human rights violations is important in order to achieve consistent jurisprudence and that the criminalization of human rights abuses would help clearly identify the obligation of corporations, their staff and victims in creating and sustaining a more equitable environment.CONCLUSION.
Human rights are an essential part of our existence are have been put in place no only to protect us but to ensure that we have equal access to opportunities around us. It is important that in all parts of the worlds these be adhered to so as to set the principle of their significance and to maximize the value of human life wherever we are. It is also important to protect the rights of those most vulnerable amongst us, these include women, children, the disabled and migrants in our countries. By so doing not only do individuals benefit but so do corporations because the productivity levels of people that are well taken care of is significantly higher than those who are not.
Our ability to protect the most basic human rights could extend to flourishing industries and eventually flourishing states.