The human rights movement has been around since the time of Martin Luther King Jr. People have fought for equality, opportunity and justice for all people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. As a company, it’s essential to be socially aware and considerate towards your employees as well as consumers because working conditions can directly impact their health and happiness, which in turn affects productivity levels.
Promoting human rights is about more than just giving lip service; it means taking steps that will actually make a difference to your workforce or target market. Keep going through this article to find out how your company can promote human rights.
Things a Company Can Do to Promote Human Rights
Education is the cornerstone of social change. Employees informed about human rights issues will be better equipped to act on their beliefs. The key here is making sure that information, educational material and training sessions aren’t just “one-off” events but rather ongoing learning opportunities.
Here are some suggestions from a human rights lawyer on how your company can promote human rights.
- Make sure your employees know what’s happening in their community. Inviting guest speakers, arranging tours of the company and encouraging social events are ways to get people talking;
- Give time off for employees who volunteer to work on humanitarian causes;
- Send employees to professional conferences that promote training on current issues of social justice;
- Promote solidarity between employees, so they work together to advance issues at the local and national levels;
- Encourage employees to speak out on social injustices and participate in social activities that promote equality and freedom for all people;
- Constantly monitor working conditions and pay careful attention to any demographic of your workforce that may be at risk;
- Be conscientious about hiring decisions and make sure your hiring policies don’t discriminate against any group of people;
- Always do thorough research before working with other companies who may not share the same beliefs as you;
- Support human rights through your advertisements and marketing material;
- Donate money to organizations that promote human rights.
Things Your Company Shouldn’t Do
While it’s important to respect the diversity of your workforce, putting workers in uncomfortable situations, such as coming out to family members at work or being forced to participate in religious ceremonies, won’t help them perform better. Promoting human rights means considering all people and their needs without putting them in difficult situations.
In addition, using derogatory language at work or making fun of a person’s cultural beliefs won’t help your business. In fact, it could lead to lawsuits and potential job loss for you and your company. Your bottom line depends on the well-being of all employees and consumers, and everything you do should be considered in the context of your company’s reputation and the potential impact.
Using Your Company to Promote Human Rights at Home and Abroad
Promoting human rights may require more than simple adjustments within the workplace; it may also mean encouraging employees to get involved with local neighbourhood organizations, political groups or even international organizations designed to protect the rights of disenfranchised individuals.
While it may be tempting to limit involvement in political matters to your own country, it’s essential to stay informed about social issues throughout the world so you can work with other businesses to offer support when necessary.
Promoting human rights at home doesn’t just mean addressing major social or economic issues; it also means promoting cultural diversity and tolerance in the workplace. For example, it’s important to recognize employees’ religious beliefs and special dietary needs so you can adapt your company’s social events to help everyone feel included.
Promoting human rights abroad requires a level of sensitivity and knowledge about local customs and laws within different countries worldwide. Make sure you understand the laws of countries where you’re operating and be conscious about your business’s impact on local communities.
The most successful businesses today understand that promoting human rights is a fundamental part of creating a diverse, productive and profitable workforce.