What Are Human Rights?
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world
- International human rights law
- International labour rights instruments
- How is the relationship between labour rights and human rights?
- How is the relationship between human rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The idea of human rights is as simple as it is powerful: that people have a right to be treated with dignity. Human rights are inherent in all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language or other status. Every individual is entitled to enjoy human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. International human rights law lays down obligations on states to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect the human rights of individuals or groups.
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drawn up by representatives from many nations to prevent a recurrence of the atrocities of the Second World War and is the cornerstone of modern human rights law. At the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, all 171 participating countries reaffirmed their commitment to the aspirations expressed in that document. Indonesian government has incorporated human rights elements of the declaration in the Article 27 and the Article 28 of the Indonesian 1945 Constitution.
We are all equal in human rights without any discrimination
Human rights documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labor Organization Conventions are signed and ratified by the state as a form of international legally binding commitment. The effect of the ratification of international human rights treaties is that the state is responsible for respecting, protecting and facilitating access to the fulfillment of human rights.
Even though the company is not directly responsible for international agreements, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the responsibility of companies to respect human rights.
What does the company mean by respecting human rights? Read the Basic Principles of companies respecting human rights.
What are human rights that companies should respect?
The short answer is: all recognized human rights. In fact, companies and stakeholders will be disadvantaged if they limit the human rights that must be taken into account. Because human rights that are not in the “list” might also have materiality values – which have the potential to result in violations or a real cost burden for the company.
International human rights law
The basic international human rights instruments are:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
- Conventions on the rights of person with disabilities
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the basis for the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The articles in the two international agreements reflect and further explain the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the fields of economic-socio-cultural and civil-political affairs. Explanation of the application of certain articles for business can be seen in the book titled Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide.
International labour rights instruments
In addition to the international human rights standards contained in Basic Human Rights Instruments, companies are also expected to see the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
There are eight core conventions that are grouped into four basic labor norms, namely:
- Freedom of association (ILO Convention 87) and effective recognition of the right to collective labor agreements (ILO Convention 98);
- Elimination of all forms of forced labor (ILO Convention 29 & ILO Convention 105);
- Effective elimination of child labor (ILO Convention 138 & ILO Convention 182);
- Elimination of discrimination in work and occupation (ILO Convention 100 & ILO Convention 111).
How is the relationship between labour rights and human rights?
Examples of the relationship between labor rights and human rights are the right to collective labor agreements derived from the right to form trade unions, join trade unions, and the right to strike in (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 8). These rights form the basis of the right to just and profitable work and the right to join trade unions (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 23). Effective elimination of child labor comes from the right to protection for children (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 24) and the right to education (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Articles 13-14), which then becomes the basis of the right to an adequate standard of living (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25) and the right to education (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26).
How is the relationship between human rights and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals with 169 measurable achievements and deadlines set by the United Nations as the agenda of the world of development for the benefit of humans and planet earth. Many companies are interested in implementing the framework SDGs in the practice of corporate sustainability. Click here to know how to report company activities in accordance with SDGs indicators.
What is the relationship between human rights and SDGs?
SDGs are already covered indirectly by international human rights instruments. For example. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are closely related to the goals of the SDG in alleviating poverty, hunger, health, quality education, gender equality, economic growth and decent work rights. While Civil and Political Rights also intersect with the goals of SDG no. 16 concerning peace, justice and strong institutions and reducing inequality.
Corporate Sustainability Report and SDGs Objectives
Based on the 2018 Global Compact progress report, 89% of the members of the Global Compact in the Asia Pacific has aligned the company’s sustainability reports with the SDGs target. Below is a chart showing the composition of SDGs for sustainability reporting of companies in the Asia Pacific region.
Source: Global Compact 2018 Progress Report: Asia Pacific Analysis
- ELSAM dan Komnas HAM (2017), “Rencana Aksi Nasional Bisnis dan Hak Asasi Manusia”. Jakarta: Komnas HAM.
- Global Compact, “Global Compact 2018 Progress Report: Asia Pacific Analysis”, 2018.
- Inisiatif Bisnis dan Hak Asasi Manusia (2010), “Bagaimana Menjalankan Bisnis dengan Menghormati Hak Asasi Manusia: Sebuah Alat Panduan bagi Perusahaan,” Den Haag: Global Compact Network Netherlands
- INFID, “Kertas Kebijakan: Menuju Implementasi Prinsip-Prinsip Panduan PBB tentang Bisnis dan HAM di Indonesia”, 2018.
- Kementerian Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia, “Draf Panduan Bisnis dan HAM versi 13 Desember 2018”, Jakarta, 13 Desember 2018.
- Illustration: www.freepik.com