Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum

Welcome to the Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum.

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    Please use this space to suggest alternative dilemmas that you feel might be worth exploring in detail or if you wish to suggest a different facet of dilemmas already selected. Likewise, suggest case studies demonstrating how multi-national companies have positively addressed some of the dilemmas articulated in this Forum.

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    • Threads: 52
    • Posts: 131
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    "How does a company respect local communities' right to water when operating production facilities that require high levels of water consumption and where the community suffers from an inadequate water supply by relevant government authorities, but where the business is welcome as a source of jobs and revenue?"

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    • Threads: 6
    • Posts: 20
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    "How does a company address the presence of child labour in its supply chain, particularly in locations where child labour is relatively common and where there is evidence that removing income-generating opportunities will push children into deeper poverty or other forms of exploitation?"

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    • Threads: 23
    • Posts: 83
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    Community relocation

    (1 Viewing)

    "How does a company respect human rights when attempting to acquire land for infrastructure projects or mineral exploration in countries where national law permits expropriation by the government seeking to attract the company's operations, even if landowners have not agreed that the compensation offered for their land is adequate or where land rights might be uncertain?"

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    • Threads: 10
    • Posts: 21
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    "How do companies assure stakeholders that their products do not contain any primary commodities that are linked to the funding of conflict?"

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    • Threads: 6
    • Posts: 37
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    "How can a company successfully pursue commercial activities in countries with a history of corruption, whilst at the same time ensuring it does not compromise its own anti-corruption or human rights commitments?"

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    • Threads: 18
    • Posts: 43
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    "How should a responsible company identify and address its incremental contribution to a cumulative human rights impact, particularly an impact on an individual or a community that is the result of the combined actions of several actors?"

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    • Threads: 1
    • Posts: 1
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    "How should a responsible company operate in conflict-affected, fragile countries and weak governance zones to ensure that its operations contribute to peace-building rather than aggravate tensions and instigate conflicts?"

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    • Threads: 5
    • Posts: 9
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    Ethnic minorities

    (3 Viewing)

    "How can a global multi-national company realistically ensure non-discrimination in the workplace so that the rights of ethnic minorities are equally respected and supported, irrespective of location or context?"

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    • Threads: 12
    • Posts: 21
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    “How can a company practically and responsibly identify and address problems of forced labour in lower tiers of its supply chain, particularly when it extends into areas or sectors known to use forced labour?”

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    • Threads: 15
    • Posts: 49
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    "How does a company respect the right to freedom of association in its operations and supply chain when its operations, business partners or suppliers are based in countries where such rights are heavily restricted in law and/or practice?"

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    • Threads: 9
    • Posts: 16
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    "How can a global multi-national realistically respect freedom of religion or belief of employees on an equal basis, irrespective of location or context?"

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    • Threads: 9
    • Posts: 21
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    “How do media, information and communications technology and Internet companies respect the right to freedom of opinion, speech and expression when operating in, sourcing from, or selling to environments with restrictions on these rights?”

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    • Threads: 14
    • Posts: 39
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    "What should a company do when its internal policies prohibit gender discrimination and promote gender equality, yet local cultural, legal or business norms permit and promote discrimination against women within some of the countries where it operates?"

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    • Threads: 17
    • Posts: 30
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    "How does a company ensure workers within its supply chain enjoy adequate safety protection within the workplace, when it sources from supplier companies in countries with little or no safety protection, either because the law is inadequate or the law in not enforced?"

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    • Threads: 8
    • Posts: 23
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    "When operating in countries with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and poor health care systems, how does business implement an effective and responsible disease management programme that respects the right to privacy and ensures non-discrimination against employees?"

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    • Threads: 7
    • Posts: 16
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    "How does a company respect the right of workers to an adequate standard of living when operating in or sourcing from areas where there is limited access to adequate housing including related access to clean water, sanitation and other public amenities, and where the responsibility for and cost of addressing these wider requirements are beyond the practical scope of the business and are the responsibility of other actors like government partners or suppliers?"

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    • Threads: 4
    • Posts: 16
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    "How does a company ensure there is no association with human trafficking in its operations or supply chains when these extend into areas where trafficking is common in terms of the procurement of people, their transportation or their use as labour?"

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    • Threads: 26
    • Posts: 59
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    "How can responsible companies pursue profitable activities that have an inherently significant physical, social or cultural impact, ensure that their operations are not undermining the rights of indigenous peoples particularly when working in geographical areas that may have land right conflicts or complex histories or that are in or contiguous to protected areas or their margins?"

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    • Threads: 7
    • Posts: 35
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    "How does a company ensure that it, and its in-country business partners or suppliers, pay living wages to employees when the host country does not have a statutory minimum wage - or the minimum wage fails to provide for an adequate standard of living for a worker and their family?"

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    • Threads: 8
    • Posts: 21
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    Migrant workers

    (1 Viewing)

    “How does a company ensure decent working conditions and equal treatment for migrant workers within its own operations or those of its business partners and suppliers when operating in a jurisdiction where migrant workers form a significant part of the workforce and where the government does not provide them with adequate protection?”

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    • Threads: 10
    • Posts: 20
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    "How can responsible companies protect their legitimate legal, ethical and commercial interests, assets and integrity in emerging economies while maintaining the right to privacy of employees, business partners and customers, when such rights are less well protected or where domestic laws infringe on privacy, and where there is high risk of exposure to corruption and fraud?"

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    • Threads: 9
    • Posts: 16
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    Product misuse

    (1 Viewing)

    "How do companies that sell products that can easily be misused to infringe human rights protect against such misuse, so that that their legitimate sale can continue?"

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    • Threads: 3
    • Posts: 16
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    Security forces

    (1 Viewing)

    “How does a company ensure respect for the human rights of local communities when circumstances dictate that they must rely on the protection of public security forces with a history of committing human rights violations?”

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    • Threads: 17
    • Posts: 49
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    "How does a responsible business address the need for stability when investing in or funding long-term projects, where the inclusion of ‘stabilisation clauses' in investment contracts can discourage host states from applying higher human rights standards?"

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    • Threads: 1
    • Posts: 3
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    "How does a company ensure it respects relevant international standards and national laws relating to working hours within its supply chain when workers are either compelled, have no choice, or operate in a context which makes them accept excessive working hours?"

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    • Threads: 6
    • Posts: 24
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    "How can companies successfully pursue business operations and/or joint ventures with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in countries with poor human rights records without compromising their own human rights commitments?"

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    • Threads: 1
    • Posts: 4

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