Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world. This year on Human Rights Day, the United Nations kick off a year-long campaign to promote and recognise the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 2023.
2023 will not only see the celebration of the 75th anniversary, it will also see human rights becoming releveant to businesses in a new way:
On 1 January 2023, the German Supply Chain Act (Lieferkettengesetz) enters into force (click here for an unofficial English version). Businesses above a certain size must have processes in place to determine whether there is a risk that their own business activities or business activities in the supply chain violate human rights. It might be a smaller step than human rights campaigners had hoped for, but it is a first step.
Similar legislation is under way in the European Union: In February 2022, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence.The legislation will required businesses to identify and, where necessary, prevent, end or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights, such as child labour and exploitation of workers, as well as such impact on the environment.
Finally, here is our traditional link to Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign.