Why Engage with Business
Corporations have reached a level of influence that makes them both a problem and a potential solution in human rights struggles. They must be held accountable for their actions (and the actions of their suppliers) – but they must also be engaged to support a positive human rights agenda. Human Rights First encourages companies to address human rights concerns in collaborative, multi-stakeholder settings. We focus on developing standards and ways to enforce them. Our focus on coalition-building encourages unlikely allies to partner to uphold human rights standards for victims of globalization – whether involving issues of fair trade, freedom of expression and communication, or health, safety and environmental concerns. This approach is particularly well-suited to the current business climate where brand identity often relies on activities that are respectful of human rights. Such initiatives have gained the respect of leaders in business, Congress and the human rights community.