World Economic Forum report proposes coordinated response to entrenched human rights challenges in global supply chains

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Article
1 December 2015

Commentary: "Why human rights is a shared responsibility"

Author: Mike Posner, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights & Marcela Manubens, Unilever

In the spirit of building [a] collective, moral consciousness, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Human Rights has just published the report: Shared Responsibility: A New Paradigm for Supply Chains. It proposes a coordinated response by global and local businesses, governments, international organizations, philanthropic groups, unions and other interest parties to devise collective solutions and share the financial costs of addressing the most entrenched human rights problems in complex supply chains...It is premised on gaining a wide visibility of these problems over the entire supply chain. Achieving such visibility is critical to managing these issues...The shared responsibility model is based on industry-wide rather than company-specific approaches. It assumes that financial costs and regulatory commitments must also be borne in part by developing and developed country governments, local and global companies as well as international financial institutions and private philanthropy...Working together to overcome the challenges in global supply chains, we can promote inclusive growth by adopting a collective consciousness based on our shared humanity...

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Article
1 December 2015

Shared Responsibility: A New Paradigm for Supply Chains

Author: World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Human Rights

This paper seeks to offer a fresh way of looking at serious, entrenched human rights challenges by outlining the appropriate scope of supply chain responsibilities in different industries, and how companies should assess and report on the real risks associated with their business operations. It then offers a series of recommendations based on the principle of “shared responsibility”, proposing a fair allocation of the preventative and remedial costs and commitments for addressing these problems among global companies, their local business partners, local and foreign governments, unions, international financial institutions and private philanthropies....Ensuring that workers and communities across global supply chains realize the benefits of globalization – enhanced economic opportunity and increased respect for basic human rights – requires a new paradigm, one that enlists a wider range of stakeholders and resources, including governments, to improve respect for human rights in global business...

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