Companies Must Know Their Operations May Violate Human Rights, and Take Steps to Prevent It

The EU Info Center hosted a presentation of the Methodology for developing the Charter of Human Rights in the Business Sector in BiH”, which is an activity of the initiative “Improving Human Rights in the Business Sector” implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT in partnership with the Association of Employers of FBiH and with the support of the European Union. Today’s event was attended by representatives of the business sector, CSOs, the media and government institutions.

The main purpose of the Charter on Human Rights is to make the business sector aware of their potential to commit human rights violations, regardless of their main activity, and to provide them with mechanisms and recommendations on how to prevent human rights violations.

The initiative “Improving Human Rights in the Business Sector” is based on UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and aims to ensure respect for human rights in all segments of business operations of BiH business owners, regardless of their size or type of activity.

The state has a duty to protect, but businesses are also required to respect human rights in their everyday operations, and to provide recourse mechanisms for victims of their potential human rights violations”, said Mr. Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section III (Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation).

Assistant Minister of Human Rights, from the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, Saliha Đuderija, said that human rights permeate our everyday lives and are present in various areas. “In addition to what we understand as worker’s rights, we also must ensure that companies are aware of their duty to protect human rights, especially in terms of their own activities”, said Ms. Đuderija.

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The event included a presentation of the “Baseline Analysis of Human Rights in the Business Sector in BiH” conducted this year by the Institute. More than half of the surveyed companies stated that they have a document outlining their commitment to protecting human rights in terms of their own operations, but only 6.07% have a publicly available document. A quarter of the surveyed companies said that they do not currently have this document, but they do think they need it, while 19.9% believe they do not need one such document.

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