This year's Golden Globes, spurred by the #MeToo movement, has made it clear that despite ubiquitous human resources (HR) policies and training requirements, harassment and abuse in the workplace continues to be a major problem. The scale of the challenge is staggering. According to an NBC News and Wall Street Journal Poll, nearly half of working women in the US say they have experienced harassment in the workplace. This epidemic is not just an HR challenge, it is a human rights challenge.
Article One's Associate Director, Marissa Saretsky, asks whether 2018 could be the year in which we declare that it is “time’s up” not just for the shameful treatment of women in the U.S. workplace, but of all vulnerable populations?
As 2017 comes to a close, we look back on important contributions to the field of business and human rights this year. Our second annual round-up of business and human rights ‘reads’ are ten articles, videos and podcasts that gave us pause, shed light on a new issue or sparked a new idea.
In the latest of our series, 'Five Questions for Business & Human Rights Leaders,' Article One speaks with Louise Nicholls, Corporate Head of Human Rights, Food Sustainability (Plan A) and Food Packaging at Marks & Spencer (M&S). Since joining M&S in 2008, Ms. Nicholls has led the retail company’s ethical trade and human rights program. In this profile, Ms. Nicholls discusses advancing corporate human rights management, how public reporting and rankings impact her work, and tips for a successful career in the business and human rights field.
Dan Bross, who recently retired after 18 years leading Microsoft’s global corporate social responsibility program, is joining Article One today as a senior advisor. As the architect of Microsoft’s renowned business and human rights program, Dan was an internal champion for human rights there, and by joining us, he will serve as an expert advisor for Article One clients who are developing and expanding their approach to business and human rights. In this Q&A Dan shares his insights from his impressive career advancing human rights within companies.
In the two months since Rex Tillerson took office as U.S. Secretary of State, Tillerson notably skipped the release of the State Department’s annual human rights report and decided to lift all human rights conditions on the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain. In this post, Article One Advisor, Marissa Saretsky reflects on the potential implications of the U.S. State Department’s shifting position on human rights for business.
The agriculture supply chain already faces a number of human rights challenges, most notably linked to working conditions in agricultural fields – child labor, forced overtime, inadequate wages, and human trafficking are traditional examples. However, as we are finding in the human rights due diligence that we are conducting in this sector, the scope of issues broadens significantly when considering the impacts of climate change.
The French Parliament recently adopted a duty of vigilance, or “devoir de vigilance,” obligation for large companies headquartered in France. In doing so, France became the first country to require corporations to conduct human rights due diligence. While the law currently applies only to French companies, it could have wide-ranging implications for formal requirements in other jurisdictions.
Retail and consumer products companies often focus on human rights risks within their supply chains. However, as Article One's Advisor found, retailers would do well to have a more holistic view of their human rights impacts.
A growing chorus of stakeholder voices are looking beyond voluntary standards for ways to expand corporate accountability for human rights impacts. We summarize three approaches we believe will continue to impact the field of business and human rights in 2017 and beyond.
As 2016 comes to a close, we look back on important contributions to the field of business and human rights this year. Our inaugural round-up of business and human rights ‘reads’ are ten articles, videos and podcasts that gave us pause, shed light on a new issue or sparked a new idea.
Leading companies today understand that they have a responsibility to respect human rights wherever they operate. But who are the people making sure that their companies meet this responsibility? As part of the Peterson Series at Haas, Article One sat down with two of its clients, Gap and Microsoft, to explore how business leaders can embed human rights in their companies in ways that advance both business goals and human rights.
Over the past few months, Article One has worked with a number of technology companies to help address new challenges at the intersection of technology and human rights. But it was the realization that technology issues kept coming up in our human rights work with clients in retail, consumer products, hospitality, and other sectors that spurred us to reach out to a number of experts in this field to better understand emerging trends and stakeholder expectations.
In the latest of our series, 'Five Questions for Business & Human Rights Leaders,' Article One speaks with Irit Tamir of Oxfam America. In her seven years at Oxfam, Ms. Tamir led the launch of Oxfam America's Behind the Brands and supported community-led human rights impact assessments with migrant and undocumented farmworkers in the United States. In this profile, Ms. Tamir offers advice to CEOs and discusses the one thing that continues to surprise her about working on business and human rights.
On Sunday, Leonardo DiCaprio shared the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, won for his role in “The Revenant,” with indigenous communities around the world. “It is time that we recognized your history, and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them,” he said. And he’s right. The land of indigenous people needs to be protected, and it can’t be without a commitment by governments and corporations to do so.
Article One co-hosted a workshop and public symposium to explore the ability for innovation to result in better outcomes for millions of people affected by conflict and natural disaster. To read highlights from the workshop and watch videos from the public symposium click 'read more.'
This article applies a business and human rights lens to the new on-demand/sharing economy models. It explores potential human rights impacts associated with the shift to the on-demand economy, reviews recent efforts in business and public policy to begin to address these impacts, and points to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as a useful framework to define responsibility and guide action by both business and government.
Who is responsible for safety in the sharing economy? This question is at the heart of a heartbreaking recent story by freelance journalist Zak Stone, who tells of his father’s accidental death during a stay at an Airbnb rental.
Article One is pleased to launch our new interview series: Five Questions for Business & Human Rights Leaders. The series profiles leaders from business, civil society, and government who are working to advance corporate respect for human rights. Our inaugural interview is with Michelle Naggar, Vice President of Social Responsibility for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.. Under Ms. Naggar’s leadership, Starwood has published a Human Rights Statement, conducted corporate- and country-level human rights impact assessments and established a Human Rights Council. Ms. Naggar speaks with Article One about how she secured internal buy-in and what steps she is taking to advance industry practice globally.
The same week the Supreme Court voted to recognize same sex marriages, the Justices upheld another important human right: the right to privacy. On June 22, the Supreme Court struck down a Los Angeles city law requiring hotels to turn over guest information to local authorities, even in the absence of a warrant. This case was just one example of the increasing limitations of companies to protect the privacy of customer and employee when confronted with illegitimate government requests.
Last week, at the G7 Summit, leaders of some of the world's largest economies for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights(UNGPs). This is an important and welcome step toward the state protection of human rights, but it's just the beginning.