This research paper aims to look into merits and difficulties organisations face in relation to the to the adoption of the United nations Global Compact focusing on Human Rights. The UNGC gives chances by connecting with members basically through three mechanism; dialogue, learning events and partnership projects (Voegtlin & Pless, 2014). The following segment of this paper will look at the advantages and critics the UN Global Compact have gotten since its birth. There are two principles lined up with human rights; Principle 1: “Business should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights”; Principle 2: Companies should “make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses” (UN Global Compact,2011).
UNGC is a network with the point of rising and scattering the interest of worldwide economic devolvement using voluntary business policies and actions (Williams, 2004).
The UNGC initiative came into practice in the year 2000, it is both a policy and a framework for companies which are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices (UN Global Compact, 2011). It is both an approach and a system for organisations which are focused on manageability and mindful business rehearses (Un Global Compact,2011). It welcomes organisations to partake in capable business hones on human right (Cubie L.L. Lau, 2017). it is the universes largest initiative with 12 000+ signatories in more than 160 nations from developed and developing countries (Rasche, Waddock & Mcintosh,2013).
Members of the initiative benefit tremendously from it the benefits of engagement which incorporate; contribution with multilateral arrangement of the UN, upgrades corporate citizenship, network opportunities (Arevalo & Aravind, 2010). It also improves the company reputation and provides an understand of the financial needs and promote access to capital (Global Compact,2018).
However, most businesses in the US are not part of the initiative because fear of having their dirty laundry exposed to the public instead of participating they start their own charities (Byrd, 2009) Another possibility remains that corporations do not have a clear understanding on how accountability is measured (Byrd, 2009). Corporations have not joined due to criticizers of the initiative, as it was exposed that many companies partake in order boost their corporate image and to be good citizens (Arevalo & Aravind,2009) stated that the UNGC does not develop new approaches. Individuals are concerned that the compact is more helpful to developed countries rather than aiding the countries that need them the most (Bryd,2009).
I think the UNGC initiative is a framework that all business should use to stay awake as opportunities may rise in future and advantage the organisation. Companies also become more conscious of what’s trending.
The initiative is also for builds relationships between stakeholders, investors and employees, by bringing them together help them work hand in hand together and eliminate problem that may. For example, the Global compact provides businesses with procedures on how to tackle human rights.
Human rights are believed to be identical and inalienable rights, which are inherent in all humans of any sex, background, and other personal features (Ruggie,2013). Basic rights include; liberty, privacy, health, life, and security as well as an adequate standard of living (UN,2018).
Human rights remain the most serious rights that not every individual has the capacity to appreciate. In the meantime, human rights are the absolute most effortlessly mistreated ones as pursuing them does not necessarily bring any direct financial advantage, especially to Multinational Companies (Li ; Gaur,2014). Honestly speaking, it is frequently in the interest of firms to comply with or even be an accessory to, human rights infringements by the host governments, as a result for economic favors (Alford, 2008)
The development of UN guiding principles on human rights was created mainly on the grounds of MNCs variable responses to human rights and the weak bargaining power of the state, particularly in poorer countries (Javed Siddiqui, 2016). Mary Robinson, (n.d.). the UN high commissioner for human rights states that by following the global compact human rights guidelines you are entitled to a healthy bottom line and it is good corporate citizenship. Many companies find strength in their human rights record and it is the major key performance indicator all over the world.
Unilever went on to say that business can only flourish in societies where human rights are protected and respected. They also recognize that business has the responsibility to respect human rights and the ability to contribute to positive human rights impacts (Unilever, 2018). Unilever promotes human rights within its organisation.
Human rights methods to development are based on the central idea of the responsibilities of states and the international community to make that citizens of developing countries can claim their economic, social and cultural rights, together with their civil and political rights, and that all of these are fulfilled Invalid source specified.. Consequently, even though human rights are very essential, they do not benefit MNCs (Shaomin Li, Ajai Gaur, (2014). Demenchonok, E. (2009) says the universal concept of human rights is considered a regulative principle for the possible critique of any state, including a democratic one. Furthermore, different countries different aspects of human rights Invalid source specified..
Progressively the activities of the Multinational corporations operating both in developed and developing countries significantly influence the individual rights and freedom of the general population where they operateInvalid source specified.. It is criticized that human rights do not signify a complete truth, they represent ideology, which is self-contradictory to the basic idea of human rights itself and hence, there is a need for redefinition of the main presuppositions of modern conception of human rights represented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Sanja Ivic, 2010). Cultural relativist discards rights as they feel they are not well-matched with their culture, others say human rights should be differentiated between formal and real human rights (Birden Güngören Bulgan,2015). Many authors reason that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is Western-imperialist unlike Rawls’s idea which would be acceptable to different societies hence making human rights more familiar to different cultures and peoples, which would lead to better implementation of human rights (Birden Güngören Bulgan,2015). “Your freedom is not my freedom, says the press to a trade. As you obey the laws of your sphere, so will I obey the laws of my sphere” (Henry Gao, 2011 page 349). The above statement is reflected well in the case of Yahoo & China.
Yahoo an organisation that gives Internet services around the world, with the of purpose, as stated on its site, “powering communities to create indispensable experiences; built on trust” (Yahoo website,2008). In the organisation’s very own words, Yahoo! Is “built on and fueled by trust” (Yahoo websute,2008).
In 2002 and 2004, Chinese citizens, Wang Xiaoning and Shi Tao, were captured, and sentenced to prison for 10 years for e-mailing pro-democracy views from data given by Yahoo (Venezia and Venezia, 2010). Yahoo!’s compliance with the Chinese authorities received a lot of critics in the USA. Yahoo got a lawsuit for violating human rights (the Sydney morning herald,2007). A major concern arises for all businesses that want to take part in the universal economy and stay competitive, the fight of culture and legitimate and social qualities (Venezia and Venezia, 2010).
My opinion on the above case is that I do not find Yahoo at fault because it is operating in a country where the government is overly involved and overly protective on its reputation, so they had to abide by the rules of China for the company to continue operating in China. The people whom shared china’s remote information should have thought twice about it, because they know best about the Chinese government involvement in looking out for the country’s reputation. Yahoo did not follow principle 1. Yahoo had to adapt to the host country’s practices even if meant lowering their human rights standards.
The UNGC’s objective to assist companies to attain human rights and not abuse them, but I feel that this is only good on paper, the initiative does not follow up on companies, to check how the company is achieving the human rights principles, instead companies are required to report their progress to UN every year, my question is how will the UN know if the data provided by the company is correct, with corruption on the other hand, corporations may ask for favors in return for money, so the UN will never know how legit the information on paper is. I recommend that the UN assign each member of the initiative a representative whom will be monitoring and closely advising the member and giving feedback to the UN every 6 months on the progress of the company. The UN Global Compact should also become a compulsory initiative for MNCs as companies with power and money always opt to operate developing nations with little or zero government interference and abuse citizens’ rights. The UN should also take into thought of changing the definition of human rights, because it says that everyone has universal rights but how come an attempt to suicide, abortion and prostitution in most countries is considered a crime, how is it a crime? When the individual has a right to his/her body? The body does not belong to the state. Also looking at freedom of speech, why permit people to tarnish a companies’ is that not violating stakeholders’ rights?
Furthermore, may authors have criticized the UN Global Compact as a western culture, hence I propose that the UN should look deeply into this and come with a way to make other cultures feel accepted. Governments should also implement rules that will help reduce the abuse of human rights, companies must come up with ways on how to deal with the infringement of human rights.