ways businesses can uphold human rights amid global crisis
World, at present, is struggling amid global conflicts and crisis, jeopardizing human rights to extreme. At such critical time it becomes responsibility of individual entities and organisations to uphold their end and step up to protect human rights in their vicinity.
Working in line with this agenda, World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights is launching its guidance plan for company board members across the world at this year’s annual meeting in Davos.
Why must the board must step up?
Human rights and businesses are linked by a fine thread, for the very reason that majority of rights issues are stemmed from workplaces. As the global trade is under shambles right now, the human rights crisis is escalating globally. Right action plan by businesses can strategically lower impact rights crisis and with time curb the incidences.
“Guidance note for Boards”
Council has worked hard for past two years, and the result is “Guidance Note for Boards”. The guideline has been formulated through consultations with human rights defenders, legislators and board members from across the world. Using their power judicially can help board members to bring notable changes to protect human rights.
How can board members uphold the rights by exercising their powers?
There are multiple mechanisms through which board can bring in changes to protect rights, they being case sensitive. The process is that board must ask these critical questions to prepare modus operandi.
- Does the company know who the affected stakeholders are?
- Does the company have appropriate mechanisms in place to understand probable adverse human rights impacts on these stakeholders, and what is proper response?
- Is the Board sufficiently engaged and capable in overseeing these mechanisms and ensuring their effectiveness?
- Does the Board have the right monitoring and review mechanisms in place to undertake these tasks?
The guidance note by Forum must be used effectively by the company boards to understand best way to protect the human rights and ensure they are overseen effectively.