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Human Rights: A Moral and Material Business Concern

Author: Marcy Murninghan, The Murninghan Post, Published on: 30 June 2011

Several sustainability milestones were reached in June, but the greatest of these was the UN Human Rights Council endorsement of the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, which established human rights as both a moral and material consideration for economic enterprise...[It is] among the most important milestones in the recent era of corporate responsibility and sustainability, particularly given its emphasis on stakeholder engagement and collaboration among government, business, and civil society...Although the HRC stopped short of creating a global standard or oversight structure – thus drawing legitimate criticism from human rights groups, who claim there should be strong follow up – it did establish a working group consisting of five independent experts to be appointed by the HRC this September...We hope that firms respond to the Guiding Principles without segregating human rights into a separate category.

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