StandUp4HumanRights: the call of the hour

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When contemplating on basic human rights, we realize it revolves round the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, right to work and education and so on. Undoubtedly, everyone has claim to rights, without any discrimination.

Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on 10 December – to create awareness and to promote respect for the rights and freedom enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

It is significant, there is a milestone celebration coming up – the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) will be celebrated on 10 December 2023. And, kicking off from this year’s Human Rights Day on 10 December 2022, a year-long campaign will be launched – to showcase UDHR by focusing on its relevance, legacy and activism.

The 2022 Theme of Human Rights Day is – “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All”; and the call to action is #StandUp4HumanRights.

After we were hit by the unprecedented crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new human rights challenges for business, as well as it has aggravated existing issues. These challenges will evolve over time, and we know that. But, it is important for organizations to develop clear thinking around different ways to conduct business responsibly both during and after the crisis. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as articulated in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is constant – in times of both peace and crisis.

When you look at the business world, human rights is ensconced deep within. Human rights matter to businesses because a number of elements are involved; and shareholders, investors, governments and civil society expect businesses to respect human rights. Today, we see how complex the situation is – how companies are increasingly held accountable on human rights performance in their daily operations and business relationships. So, it is vital that every business complies with human rights.

Apart from it being the right thing to, it also makes good business sense to respect human rights. Often businesses can find themselves getting involved in lawsuits, distressed by reputational harm, even losing out on business opportunities and investments, as well as the chance of recruiting talented employees.

When organizations get it right, they sustain their social license to operate, build their brands and support communities’ well-being. So, businesses can play a vital role in protecting human rights. Emerging practice demonstrates that human rights are becoming most important indeed, in corporate sustainability.

How can we prevent violation of human rights?

Accountability is a key tool that helps to prevent new violations of human rights. If the perpetrators of human rights violations get away with it, they will not hesitate to repeat these in the future too – and then, others will be encouraged to commit similar violations too.

The secret mantra is – #StandUp4HumanRights. And things will go right for you.

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