Corporations nowadays play a vital role in promoting economic growth and therefore have an influence on all aspects of the daily life of the community.
Corporations create jobs, produce goods and services, and can improve the welfare of employees and the shareholders.
Since the role of corporations has increased in this era of globalized economy, the need for respecting human rights becomes even more imperative.
The UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights have received full support from the UN Human Rights Council. The UNGP for Business and Human Rights, established in 2011, is an innovative instrument of international law intended to place the corporation as a new actor responsible for promoting and respecting human rights.
Incentives for businesses to avoid infringing human rights
Even though UNGPs is not legally binding and only set the baseline for all the enterprises to respect human rights, enterprises may voluntarily undertake additional human rights commitments, such as the promotion of certain human rights, for philanthropic reasons, to protect and enhance their
reputation, or to develop new business opportunities.
Respect for human rights is about an enterprise’s core operations, how it goes about its daily business.
With how fast information is circulated in this globalized world and the more ethically aware people have become, adherence to human rights become a business interest because there can be legal, financial, and reputational consequences if enterprises fail to meet the adherence to human rights.
Such failure may even hamper an enterprise’s ability to recruit and retain staff, to gain permits, investment, new project opportunities or similar benefits essential to a successful, sustainable business. As a result, where business poses a risk to human rights, it increasingly also poses a risk to its own long-term interests.
Businesses’ collaborations with states
But although the UNGPs call for strong respect from corporations, it also equally requires an even stronger commitment from the country concerned to handle the impact caused to human rights by corporate operations.
Commitment by the state is a determining factor to implement the UNGPs since there is a cross-cutting of norms between international law and national law.
Therefore, the State and corporations need to collaborate to achieve higher adherence to human rights.
In fulfilling the obligations to protect, the State must provide effective guidance to businesses about how to respect human rights when performing their operations.
Such guidance should advise what methods are appropriate, including due diligence on human rights, and how to effectively consider the problem of gender, vulnerability, and/or marginalization, recognizing the special challenges that might be faced by the indigenous people,
women, ethnic groups, or minority citizens, minority religious groups, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers and their families. ( FNA, SFA )
For further information, please contact:
Managing Partner [email protected]
Fildza Nabila Avianti
Research Associate [email protected]
The information contained in this Legal Insight is not intended to provide legal opinion or views of the Anggraeni and Partners law offices against a particular legal issue.
Neither party may assume that he or she should act or cease to act or choose to act on a particular matter based on this information without seeking advice from professionals in the field of law in accordance with certain facts and circumstances it faces.