Today, another 10 companies publicly supported effort to protect human rights in business. Some of the largest companies in BiH were presented with their own Charter on Business and Human Rights, in a ceremony held in Konzum’s Administration Building. AS Holding, Inside by Ećo, Planet, Wagner automative, Centrotrans-Eurolines, Wood team, Konzum, drogerie markt DM, Airport Mostar and GS-TMT Travnik.
The Charter on Business and Human Rights was developed by the Institute for Youth Development KULT in cooperation with the Association of Employers of FBiH, with the support of the European Union.
“At our company, Inside by Ećo, we abide by all international and domestic regulations and standards, so we were more than happy to adopt the Charter, and endorse positive business principles in writing”, said Suad Ećo, General Director of Inside by Ećo. He added that the importance of this issue is highlighted by the current situation which calls for companies to prioritize the health of their employees and clients, putting the company’s profile second.
The Charter consists of 15 articles concerning the prevention of human rights violations, involving stakeholders to ensure their voices and needs are heard, expressing commitment to equality, positive work environment, no forced labor or involvement in human trafficking, the right to a communication system that offers all employees confidentiality when reporting.
“The initiative to develop and adopt the Charter on Business and Human Rights was inspired by UN’s Guiding Principles, and is the first step towards creating a state-level action plan for promoting and protecting human rights in the business sector. Before writing the Charter, we conducted a survey into the business sector’s awareness of the importance of human rights. Results show that companies, especially small ones, were unaware that their operations could cause human rights violations”, said Ms. Šeherzada Halimić, Project Manager at the Institute for Youth Development KULT.
Director of the Association of Employers of FBiH, Mr. Mladen Pandurević, said that adopting the Charter is an example of positive practice that is certain to continue. In addition to the 10 companies in attendance today, nearly 30 other members of the Association adopted the Charter.