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.
Union leader and human rights defender Jorge Acosta faces new legal accusations in Ecuador, related to his reports on labour rights issues in the banana sector. Swedwatch calls on companies purchasing bananas to use their leverage and demand fair treatment for Acosta.
What do the components of our mobile phones have to do with people getting clear water near Zambian copper mines? What are working conditions like in electronics factories around the world? How can consumers have a positive impact on these issues and what are the responsibilities of companies? These are some of the questions addressed in new Swedwatch teaching materials about the downside of our use of electronic goods.
- Public procurement
- High-risk and conflict areas
- Vulnerable groups
- Climate and environment
- Community rights
- Labour rights
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.Read more about Public procurement
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.Read more about High-risk and conflict areas
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.Read more about Vulnerable groups
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.Read more about Climate and environment
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.Read more about Community 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