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Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility:
Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance


Section 1.2 - National Communities

The company is fully committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, corresponding international covenants adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and International Labour Organization Conventions and standards found in International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.

The company recognizes that the state has a duty to protect and promote internationally recognized human rights standards and is aware that human rights treaties, which are legally binding on states that ratify them, require the state to regulate the behaviour of the private sector as non-state actors in respect of the rights guaranteed by treaty.

The company makes a commitment to, as a minimum, the internationally recognized standards of performance in each and every country in which it operates.

The company, in all its locations, holds it to be the responsibility of every employee to ensure that there is full compliance with all internationally recognized labour, health, environment and safety standards.

The company contributes in a responsible and transparent way to each society's efforts to promote full human development for all its members.

The company respects the political jurisdiction of national communities.

The company does not use the mobility of capital and the immobility of labour as a tool against workers.

The company subscribes to the principle that every person has the right of access to health care, including access to affordable therapies and medicines.

The company views health in holistic terms of body, mind and spirit, rather than the absence of sickness.

The company is committed to peace in all its endeavours.

The company that produces arms or raw materials for arms, safeguards participation of all stakeholders in lobbying for the restructuring of companies so that workers' interests will not be threatened.

The company aims at converting from arms production to the production of socially useful life sustaining products that promote peace.

The company adopts a comprehensive and verifiable human rights policy which includes an explicit commitment to secure the principles and values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its two covenants and the International Labour Organisation standards.

The company links executive compensation to social as well as financial performance, including the company's efforts to secure basic human rights within its operations.

The company carefully considers the international human rights implications of entering into business relationships, either as a direct partner or through a third-party venture in which it holds an interest with the parties or entities of any state recognized or known for its widespread violations of international human rights standards.

In instances where legislation or the actual practices of any public institution violate fundamental human rights, the company does everything in its power to secure those fundamental rights in its own operations. The company also seeks to exercise its corporate influence to contribute to the establishment of such fundamental rights.

The company has a policy that, when there is a movement from within the country calling for withdrawal, in instances where there are gross and systematic violations of human rights, it will withdraw from that country.

An active human rights committee, with a designated responsible person, has been established by and reports to the Board of Directors and publicly discloses any significant material effect on the company.

The company pays appropriate taxes and uses no covert means (such as inflated internal or transfer prices) for removing profits from a host jurisdiction.

A drug company creates and implements a policy of price restraint on prescription drugs, utilizing a combination of approaches to keep drug prices at affordable levels, and refrains from enforcing patents in developing countries where this will exacerbate health problems.

A tobacco company acknowledges the inherent hazards connected to the use of its products.

The company ensures that its activities respect all life on the Planet.

The company is committed not to involve itself in military or war activities.

The activities of the company are geared towards peacemaking.

The company involved in the arms industry will adopt a policy for the conversion of its products from military to civilian use.

Bench Marks
A senior executive in each operation is responsible for all matters of human rights and reports to the appropriate management committee and the committee of the Board of Directors established for human rights matters.

The company by policy and by practice does not commit or engage in activity which leads to the abuse and violation of internationally recognized human rights standards, nor does it assist in abuses and violations committed by others, be they government authorities, paramilitary organisations, armed gangs or other non-state actors.

The company adopts a security policy that protects human rights and is consistent with international standards of law enforcement. (UN Basic Principles on the use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials)

The company, in consultation with the stakeholders, uses a checklist, which guides its approach to human rights.

The company adheres to the relevant codes of the World Health Organization (e.g. The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes) and the relevant International Labour Organisation's recommendations on health and safety, on the health of young persons, the health of women, the use of chemicals, occupational diseases, compensation for occupational injury and other related issues.

The company develops its health policies based on 'Beyond Philanthropy Benchmarks' published by Oxfam UK, VSO and Save the Children (July 2002).

The company subscribes to the principles expressed in the 1977 International Labour Organization Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy.

The company discloses labour and human rights tribunal cases and lawsuits settled or decided against the company, in addition to any pending lawsuits that might have a significant material effect on the company.

Operations in countries, which consistently violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are reviewed annually by the Board of Directors

All contraventions of human rights are reviewed and recorded, and corrective action is taken.

All contraventions of health and safety laws are reviewed and recorded, and corrective action is taken.

A tobacco company ceases all advertising and promotion of tobacco targeting young people, and supports efforts to make enclosed spaces smoke-free.

Taxes are paid by the company within the appropriate jurisdictions.

The company distributes a comprehensive and independently verified report on the production and use of its products in the arms and security industry.

A company which manufactures or trades in armaments ensures independent monitoring by civil society of the company's operations.

The company strictly controls its arms sales, by establishing a clear system of accounting of the use of the arms and reports the information to the public.

The company develops a plan for the conversion of its products from military to civilian use and ensures that workers' interests will not be undermined in the process.