A corporate leader’s nightmare scenario: waking to the news of the collapse of a factory manufacturing the company’s products, reading headlines about the company’s involvement in child labor abuses, or learning of work stoppages at supplier plants over human rights issues.
As companies worldwide face rising pressure to comply with international labor and human rights standards, these scenarios cause great concern among corporate leaders for good reason. In addition to potential harm to workers, failing to manage labor and human rights risks can have a significant, long-lasting impact on their business strategies, legal risk profile and brand reputations.
Companies are also realizing the benefits of addressing these issues and making a conscious effort to promote basic rights among their workforces, including:
- Right to non-discrimination
- Prohibition of slavery, forced labor, and human trafficking
- Elimination of under-aged child labor
- Freedom of association