Human Rights- Human Rights violation in business world.

To deny people their human right is to challenge their very humanity. Nelson Mandela.

As human beings we have different definition of what human rights are, we find ourselves in situations that want us to use these human rights but we have no idea what the are and how to use them. This is to explain what human rights are, how they are violated in a work place and how to protect yourself from human rights violations.

What are human rights?

According to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the New Commissioner (2018) “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever nationality, where you leave, race, sex, ethnic group, language or any other status”. Everyone is entitled to their human rights without being discriminated. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and inseparable. Each right cannot go without the other, they are interlinked. Most importantly we all have right to life, freedom of expression and freedom of speech. We are not meant to be slaves in are own work place, we have a right to safety, to fight for our beliefs.


This is a video of working conditions in China iPhone shop, the man taking the video here worked undercover in a Chines factory.

How are these rights being violated in businesses? 

In working environment most of the time we face such things as sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination. But no one wants to speak up because of our living situations. And in many times we ask ourselves who will we complain to? Mello (2011)  states that “bullying is a grey area though, and in order to be against the law the harassment has to be on one of the grounds protected in the Human Rights Acts and be “persistent comment or conduct” that is vexatious”. A particular concern to the Human Rights Commission is the fact that sexual harassment is still the major thing in a workplace.

Some of these business do not follow working procedures such as working hours, giving workers break times, allowing workers to have day offs. Those all mentioned are human rights that are to be given to everyone working. They treat workers like slaves and should you complain you will be told to leave and find another job. A recent case that happened in China, a Chinese factory producing iPhone and iPad part were found to have a number of serious health and safety environmental and human rights violation issues. The company is overworking their employees, with a minimum wage of 25dollar a month, with ridiculous working hours. These people are unable to see their families. Those are human rights violations in these businesses.

Croser (2014) states that since 2008, there has been an unknown increase in human rights violations all around the world, up to 70% this is from a new report recently released. Workers rights are seriously compromised and rural and indigenous people are facing land grabs and forced displacement and growing demand for low- cost labour and resources.

According to Croser (2014), the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights, in full agreement by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, are made to address these issues. They summarize states duties and business responsibilities to report and respect human rights and provide guidelines on how the should be put in use.

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This season offers opportunities for the introduction of two targeted regulatory means to address the impacts of business activities on human rights. the first one is amendments to the  modern slavery Bill demanding large UK companies to report on steps they are taking to identify and put an end to slavery in their supply chains, the second one is an EU regulations that will need relevant EU companies to carry out due diligence to ensure that they source minerals responsibly, Croser (2014).

Croser, (2014) states that UK human rights group, stakeholders, parliamentarians from all parties and business leaders agree with the proposed amendment to the Modern Slavery Bill. This summers shocking revelations about slavery in the Thai fishing industry, which supplies prawns to UK supermarket’s, this shows that voluntary systems are failing to identify and stopping these practices. This is not surprising given that forced labour is estimated to produce a profit of 150billion dollars.

Other responsible businesses they welcome legislation as a way of levelling the playing field and setting out clear expectations. These business do not see why they should be compromised by companies that are prepared to turn a blind eye to terrible practices. These businesses do not care as long as the price is low.

Forced labour and the trade in conflicts minerals are complicated problems which will not be solved by regulations in the UK and Europe alone. Besides, the introduction of the measures that were mentioned would be highly important. most importantly they would go some way towards ending the business practices which drive demand for workers who work fro free, Croser (2014).

Such due diligence processes are made to prevent business related human rights abuses. Crosers states that those people that are affected by the irresponsible practices of UK companies overseas, must get improved remedy essentials. Research from Amnesty International found that victims are frequently denied justice and it remains rare for criminal prosecutions to be brought against companies for human rights abuses.

Ways to protect yourself from human rights violation.

It is never okay to be violated more especially when it come to your human rights in a workplace or any other place of business. Finding help  is the best solution, also learn more about your human rights and know where to apply them. The 7 ways above will help you know what to do when dealing with violation of human rights.

Below there’s a quiz to test you on your knowledge of human rights. How much you know and are able to know if your rights are violated. Please share on your Facebook , twitter.

click here for the quiz






  1. Employees of sewing factories Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. Women make up approximately 90% of the Cambodia textile industry’s workforce. 2014 Samer Muscati/ Human Rights Watch.[/caption
  2. UN Guidelines Principles on Business and Human Rights

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