Skip to main content

UN group finds "little appreciation" by US corporations of human rights in their businesses

A sad reflection on US corporations.   A UN expert group has found that US corporations have little appreciation for human rights in their businesses.  IPS reports.

"A United Nations expert group is warning that too many gaps remain in implementing new safeguards among businesses based in the United States, both in terms of their domestic and international operations, to ensure the protection of human rights of workers and communities affected by those operations.

Two members of the U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights wrapped up a 10-day fact-finding mission to the United States this week, at the end of which they released initial observations. Ultimately, these will be expanded upon and finalised for presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2014.

“It’s a sad thought that our politicians are so crooked that we have to ask the United Nations for help, but no one else will listen.” -- Junior Walk of Coal River Mountain Watch
“With a few exceptions, most companies still struggle to understand the implications of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights,” Puvan Selvanathan, the current head of the Working Group and one of the two members on the U.S. trip, said at the end of the mission “Those that do have policies in place, in turn, face the challenge of turning such policies into effective practices.”

Selvanathan and his colleague, Michael Addo, focused on gauging U.S. adherence to and regulatory changes following the 2011 adoption of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles offer the first international standards aimed at ameliorating the negative rights impacts of global business."


****



"Speaking with reporters and civil society on Wednesday, the Working Group voiced particular concerns regarding low-wage agricultural workers, lack of free and prior informed consent for Native American communities engaging with big business, and harmful practices by the domestic extractives industry.

Indeed, Selvanathan and Addo reserved some of their strongest language for these issues. For instance, they reported having heard “allegations of labour practices in low-wage industries with migrant workers, particularly within the services sector, that would be illegal under both U.S. laws and international standards.”

Such violations reportedly include violations of minimum wage requirements, wage theft and “chronic disregard for minimum health and safety measures”.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…