Potential impact of business on human rights

Nowadays, it has become almost axiomatic that business has the potential to impact human rights most seriously.

In particular, business enterprises may affect the following areas, amongst others:

  • A wide range of labour rights, e.g. trade unions' rights, safety of the workplace, non-discrimination, etc.;

  • Environmental protection and ecology;

  • Rights of local communities;

  • Consumer protection and product safety;

  • Respect for private life;

  • Freedom of speech and the right to information; and

  • Freedom of religion, etc.

Regulation of business and human rights as a rapidly developing area of law

Not surprisingly, the relationship between human rights and business is high up on the agenda of the international community, national governmental authorities, and commercial enterprises.

The regulation of business and human rights is one of the most rapidly developing areas of law. Therefore, it is particularly important for companies and their lawyers to be alert as to the most recent national legislation changes and emerging international trends.