International Solidarity for Human Rights
A voice for Human Rights
By: Devorah Sasha
“Since all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, everyone—simply by virtue of being human—is entitled to all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This entitlement applies without discrimination, whether by race, skin color, sex, language, religion, political or other views, national or social origin, property, birth, or any other criteria. The almost universal recognition of the idea that all people have inalienable rights that are not conferred or granted by the state, a party, or an organization but that are non-negotiable principles is one of the greatest achievements of civilization”.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
It means that corporations have a degree of responsibility not only for the economic consequences of their activities, but also for the social and environmental implications…Various terms are used to describe CSR initiatives, including ‘Corporate Responsibility,’ ‘Corporate Accountability’, ‘Corporate Citizenship’ and ‘Sustainability. The meaning and value of CSR may differ in various contexts, depending on local factors including culture, environmental conditions, and the legal framework.
What do human rights have to do with CSR?
Human rights are relevant to the economic, social and environmental aspects of corporate activity. For example, labor rights requiring companies to pay fair wages affect the economic aspect. Human rights such as the right to non-discrimination are relevant to the social aspect. And the environmental aspects of corporate activity might affect a range of human rights, such as the right to clean drinking water (right to health, food and shelter).
So there is a growing acceptance that corporations also have an important role to play….
Corporations have come to recognize that part of being a good corporate citizen includes respecting the human rights of those who come into contact with the corporation in some way. This might be direct contact (for example, employees or customers), or indirect contact (for example, workers of suppliers, or people living in areas affected by a corporation’s activities.
Over the past decade, the international community has made significant advances in examining and clarifying the links between corporations and human rights.
A wide variety of voluntary initiatives have been developed by individual companies…..These initiatives include voluntary guidelines and codes of conduct, monitoring and reporting procedures, and socially responsible reporting indexes.
Under such initiatives, hundreds of corporations worldwide have publicly committed to uphold specific human rights standards.
International Solidarity for Human Rights wants to recognized and thank the companies and people of integrity that have decided to support and respect the protection of international human rights and have made possible the development, construction and sustainability of the Route to Human Rights Project in Miami, Florida, USA.
They have sponsored and continue to collaborate, with ISHR’s multidisciplinary project THE ROUTE TO HUMAN RIGHTS, the most innovative project of the XXI century that will placed 30 works of arts, in 8 Plazas and a Pavilion, on Campuses and premises of Miami Dade College.
To this date they have collaborated with their time, resources and workers to create: Art.19 The Freedom of Expression Plaza at MDC Interamerican Campus (FRANK COSTOYA JR – ANF GROUP) and Art 2 The Freedom from Discrimination Plaza at MDC North Campus (FRANK COSTOYA – LINK CONSTRUCTION).
In addition architect Frank Costoya Jr. has also designed an extraordinary Human Rights Pavilion that is planned to be built by 2013.
“The Declaration of Human Rights and its subsequent covenants represent the greatest normative consensus of the international community. Therefore there is no need for a sophisticated explanation to the effect that any respectable company must ensure that its legitimate pursuit of profits does not lead to “collateral damage” in terms of human rights. For this reason, companies of integrity will in their own interest provide for transparency wherever they can exert a direct influence”.
More and more businesses are committing to respect for human rights. There are now a large number of national and international initiatives for the protection of human rights based on voluntary undertakings by enterprises themselves.
If you are interested in sponsoring The Route to Human Rights write to us:
(Sources: Australian Human Rights Commission / www.unglobalcompact.org)