Why is this important?
A globalised economy with increasingly complex supply chains and ever greater competitive pressure gives rise to the risk of human rights violations. Companies therefore increasingly have a responsibility to effectively defend these rights within their own business activities and all along the value chain. Human rights violations come to light more quickly these days thanks to the information society and are incorporated into companies’ risk assessments; they influence consumer behaviour and business relations. A company fulfilling its due diligence obligations can therefore not only boost customer and staff retention but also improve supply relationships and thus contribute to the company’s long-term success.
What do the terms mean?
Human rights apply to all people equally. They are universally valid and indivisible, and no one can be deprived of them. Governments and companies have a duty to protect these rights, and are therefore directly responsible for the upholding of human rights. There are various globally recognised texts that lay down the various human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO’s core labour standards.
What needs to be borne in mind?
The upholding of human rights is not just a topic for global enterprises. Human rights issues, such as freedom of association (e.g. regarding the formation of trade unions), the principle of equal pay for equal work and protection from (occupational) diseases, are equally relevant in Turkish companies. Please give a precise account here of how your company pays attention to respect human rights now and intends to do so in the future and demonstrate how you go above and beyond compliance with the laws as applicable. For guidance here, you may wish to refer to the publication “Doing business with respect for human rights” developed by Global Compact Network Netherlands, OXFAM and Shift.
There is a degree of overlap with criterion 14, Employee Rights. In addition to describing the upholding of your employees’ human rights, please therefore describe in particular how you handle the human rights of other stakeholders throughout the value chain, such as customers (e.g. product safety in relation to the right to physical integrity), residents (resettlement in relation to land rights), the especially vulnerable, etc.