Because of their ever-expanding power and influence, businesses can significantly help or harm human rights. Issues like child labor and forced labor remain prevalent, making organizations that focus on economic justice, sustainability, and the right to decent working conditions so important. Here are ten organizations offering jobs in business and human rights:
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
This UK-based independent body monitors the supply chains of member NGOs and companies. To remain a member, all companies must commit to the ETI Base Code of labor practice, which is modeled after the International Labour Organization’s standards. Through trainings and programs, ETI guides companies on how to implement the code and improve supply chains.
ELEVATE is an independent sustainability and supply chain services provider. It provides sustainability and supply chain assessments, consulting, program management, and analytics. To meet the needs of every client’s supply chain, they develop social responsibility programs. Their ELEVATE Responsible Sourcing Audit Standard serves as their code of conduct. They work around the world. Careers are available in fields like analytics, corporate and IT, and program management.
The Consumer Goods Forum
Led by CEOs, the Consumer Goods Forum is the only organization bringing together consumer goods retailers and manufacturers. The group collaborates with other key stakeholders to increase consumer trust and fuel positive change. There are many challenges in the industry involving environmental issues, social sustainability, health, and more. As part of their work to address these challenges, The Consumer Goods Forum establishes coalitions on areas like human rights. That coalition’s main purpose is to end forced labor and foster fair and decent working conditions.
This nonprofit organization aims to transform the economy and create a just, sustainable future for everyone. Using a network of global collaborators (investors, nonprofits, and companies), Ceres works on economic and policy solutions. Areas of focus include climate change, water protection, and inclusive economies. In their Roadmap for Sustainability, the organization lays out how companies should protect human rights.
The United Nations Global Compact
The UN Global Compact is the world’s biggest corporate sustainability initiative. It boasts 13,000 corporate participants and stakeholders in more than 170 countries. The mission? Further the ten principles in global business activities (which include the protection of human rights and elimination of forced labor) and support the broader UN goals, like the Sustainable Development Goals. Because the Compact doesn’t have the power to regulate, it serves as a discussion forum and network for governments, companies, and other organizations to communicate.
Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)
Founded in 2009, this leading international think tank aims to “shape policy, advance practice, and strengthen accountability” so human rights are a part of everyday business. IHBR has established free-standing organizations and initiatives, such as the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and the Centre for Sports and Human Rights. Areas of focus include global supply chains, inequality, climate change, and other emerging human rights issues. IHBR produces reports, briefings, and other commentary.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)
This coalition of human rights groups focuses on corporate accountability in the United States. They identify and promote frameworks for accountability, call for the strengthening of current measures, and defend existing policies and laws. Organizations like Amnesty International and Earth Rights International lead the Steering Committee. Work includes removing corporate influence from government, protecting free speech and the right to protest, and preventing corporate human rights abuses. ICAR is a project of the Tides Foundation.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
An independent and international nonprofit organization, the Centre works in partnership with Amnesty International and leading academic institutions. It’s built an online library that documents the activities of more than 4,500 companies around the world. Through Regional Researchers, briefings, and contact with companies accused of human rights violations, the Centre empowers advocates and strengthens corporate accountability.
Shift is an independent, nonprofit center focused on human rights and business. The team was involved in the creation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; now they help businesses put those principles into action. They also support governmental action on human rights protection. Shift’s goal is to “build a world where business gets done with respect for people’s dignity.”
SOMO (The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations)
An independent nonprofit research and network organization, SOMO has operated since 1973. It works on social, ecological, and economic issues connected to sustainable development. Research areas include economic justice; natural resources; rights, remedy and accountability; and sustainable supply chains. While based in Amsterdam, SOMO works closely with civil society organizations worldwide. It provides custom services (research, training, advice, and analysis) to international nonprofits and governmental organizations wanting to meet their sustainability goals.