IOE Statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day

IOE celebrates Human Rights Day by commemorating progress made and calling for renewed efforts

Today, on Human Rights Day, the global employers’ community commemorates and celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a historic document, a milestone in international commitment towards the acceptance of a universal and effective recognition and observance of basic human rights; the Declaration presents a common understanding of the basic rights all people should enjoy and has served as a foundation for many national laws and international treaties. As such, it is also a key reference for business.

The 70th anniversary is a call for action to increase efforts to fully implement the UDHR. In too many countries and regions in the world, people, including employers, do not enjoy the rights granted to them by the UDHR. Efforts need to increase to improve its impact on the ground. Human Rights are everyone’s business. We all need to deliver.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are the authoritative framework on the roles and responsibilities of business and states in the area human rights. The IOE, as the global voice of employers representing more than 50 million companies, has fully endorsed the UN Guiding Principles and has confirmed its commitment, in its 2015 Bahrain Declaration, to promote the UN Guiding Principles and contribute to their implementation. To this end the IOE is engaged in awareness-raising campaigns, capacity building around the world, the exchange of experience and promoting the realization of human rights in concrete projects.

Human Rights will remain a key priority for the IOE. The IOE, nearly 100 years old, is committed to promoting business and human rights, including freedom of association. We are open and keen to work with governments and all stakeholders to change realities on the ground. Human rights need to become a reality for all.

Please visit our official YouTube channel and watch and listen to what our members around the world have to say! Alternatively, all the video statements are available through the links below:

Mthunzi Mdwaba – IOE Vice-President to the ILO

Guido Ricci – CACIF, Guatemala  (in Spanish)

Renate Hornung-Draus – BDA, Germany

Hamidou Diop – CNP, Sénégal (in French)

Rajeev Dubey – Mahindra & Mahindra and the Council of Indian Employers (CIE)

Alberto Echavarría – ANDI, Colombia (in Spanish)

Cecilia Flores – CONFIEP, Perú and Carlos Scerpella – Head of Human Rights Working Group at the National Society of Mining Petroleum and Energy, Peru (in Spanish)

Thato Moagi – Director at Legae La Banareng Farms, South Africa

Mustain Billah – Steering committee member of ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour, Bangladesh

Kind regards,

Roberto Suárez Santos,

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