Why are business and human rights important for my company?
Why should businesses bother? Will all of these add burdens to businesses?
It turns out that human rights have many benefits for company.
Protect your company’s values
Over the years, companies increasingly realized that they have a moral responsibility to respect human rights. Not violating individual or community rights is the right thing to do.
Often the company’s acknowledgements of respecting human rights have been stated in corporate values, either directly or indirectly
Often the company’s acknowledgements of respecting human rights have been stated in corporate values, either directly or indirectly. Examples can be seen in business principles or codes of conduct. Values such as “politeness”, “integrity”, “honesty”, “respect for others” are close to the values listed in the human rights framework such as “equality”, “human dignity”, and “respect”.
Protect your company’s profitability
Human Rights Due Diligence is an investment to protect your company’s profits in the future.
Respecting human rights can be beneficial to protect company profits. Human rights violations can result in large financial, legal, and corporate reputation losses. Caring for human rights through human rights due diligence is an effort to prevent legal cost, reputation cost, and or financial costs.
What losses can be avoided by the Human Rights Due Diligence?
Increase your company’s profitability
Respecting human rights can be a new business model innovation that generates multiple profits by uniting social goals and business goals
Business and human rights activities, such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental sustainability, can create value and generate additional benefits for the company. We can see how companies create benefits from environmentally friendly products such as energy-saving light bulbs, electric cars, solar panels, etc.
Even though businesses or products that promote social responsibility or human rights are not yet popular in the market, there have been innovative ideas that have been successfully implemented. For example, the Body Shop cosmetics company applies the Fair Trade philosophy to its supply chain. The Body Shop seeks to pay supplier farmers at premium prices and promote decent wages. In Indonesia, a similar practice is implemented by the JAVARA social business company that focuses on organic food products that promote the welfare of Indonesian farmers. This concept has opened many doors for the opportunity to export JAVARA products to countries with high human rights awareness in Europe, the United States and Japan.
What benefits can the company achieve when respecting human rights?
Business opportunities often arise when companies dare to innovate in running a business model. To get these opportunities, companies need to understand human rights well. Human rights concept is a relatively new thing for business, so companies can become early movers or trendsetters in shaping a new business model based on human rights.
International standards such as ISO 26000 certification or OECD guidelines regarding multinational companies have used human rights as a reference. So that human rights standards are widely accepted guidelines for responsible business operations.
Are you sure to integrate human rights in your company
See the Human Rights Due Diligence Guide to integrate human rights into your company.
- 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, “Draf Panduan Bisnis dan HAM versi 13 Desember 2018”, Jakarta, 13 Desember 2018.
- Shift, Oxfam and Global Compact Network Netherlands, “Doing Business with Respect for Human Rights: A Guidance Tool for Companies”, 2016.
- Illustration: www.freepik.com