COVID-19 AND HUMAN RIGHTS
ARTICLE | 29 April 2020

Companies must act responsibly towards migrant workers

Migrant workers in Dubai’s hotel sector are hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies employing migrant workers must take steps, including rapid risk assessments, to mitigate against human rights impacts when they scale down or stop operations.

COVID-19 AND HUMAN RIGHTS
ARTICLE | 8 April 2020

Covid-19, business, human rights and the environment

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely exacerbated existing human rights and environmental challenges related to business activities and threatens to undermine existing and expected achievements toward the Sustainable Development Goals. It is imperative that collaboration across stakeholders and national boundaries continues to work toward the common goal to “leave no one behind”.

COVID-19 AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Credit: Lari Honkanen
ARTICLE | 2 April 2020

Agricultural workers exposed to Covid-19 infection risks in Ecuador and Peru

Unsustainable business practices risk exacerbating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and threatening the lives and livelihoods of workers and communities already at risk. In Ecuador and Peru agricultural workers say they are exposed to working conditions that put them at risk of being infected, while fearing they will lose their jobs if they stay at home.

Themes
  • High-risk and conflict areas
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Climate and environment
  • Community rights
  • Public procurement
  • Labour rights

High-risk and conflict areas

In areas where there is war or conflict, or where the state is weak, there is a higher risk of human rights violations. Companies active in such areas need to know and act responsibly on these risks.

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Vulnerable groups

Some groups, for example children, indigenous peoples or migrant workers run a higher risk than others of being adversely affected by companies’ activities. Whoever they are, companies have a duty to respect their special rights.

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Climate and environment

Climate and environment are closely linked to human rights. Companies have a responsibility to know how they affect the climate and the environment, and to make sure that they do not contribute to environmental degradation and climate change.

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Community rights

Forced displacement in connection with new land-related projects is common and in breach with several human rights. People who depend on family farming might end up losing their homes and incomes when forced to move.

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Public procurement

Swedish municipalities, county councils and government authorities procure goods worth more than 63 billion euros annually. A large portion are manufactured or grown in countries where there is a high risk of negative impacts on human rights and the environment.

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Labour rights

There is a high risk of employees’ rights being abused in global supply chains. Guaranteeing good working conditions is a substantial and important part of companies’ responsibilities in terms of respecting human rights.

Read more about Labour rights