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Better Safe than Sorry – Corporate executives should build global opportunities by advancing human rights

Public revolt in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere makes it clear that many yearn for rights and liberties. But states are not the only institutions obligated to respect human rights. Companies also have human rights responsibilities and can be complicit in violating human rights. For example, during the first days of protests in Cairo, telecom firm Vodafone suspended mobile and internet access. Egyptian authorities then used Vodafone’s network to send text messages asking people to “confront the traitors and criminals.” Vodafone claims that the authorities invoked emergency rules, and that they could not contest Egyptian officials. But even in complicated situations, companies such as Vodafone must ensure that they do not abet human rights violations. Moreover, the company now risks being punished by its Egyptian customers, as well as the new government, through a boycott of its products and services. More…

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: Vodafone, Aetna, J.P.Morgan, Wachovia, Nestle, Whirlpool, Toyota, General Motors, Cisco, Walmart, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Yahoo, Pfizer, BASF, Novo Nordisk, Talisman, Barclays, BP, Credit Suisse, ExxonMobil, Gap, Hewlett-Packard, Imperial Tobacco, Novo Nordisk, Shell, Cerrejà³n, Phillips-Van Heusen | Source: Policy Innovations

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