Human rights and Business ethics
The interest of corporate organisations in human rights has increased over the years due to the criticism and concerns over the use of child labour, low wages, female discrimination and abuse factories. Incorporating values and ethics into any business has become very important to corporate organisations, government, and the public in general. As the world becomes ever smaller as a result of globalization, there has been an increase in the movement of labour, knowledge and technology from country to country. This has lead to companies setting up factories in countries with cheap labour and very poor human right laws so they can meet the demand for their product. Government of these poor countries have been forced to dance to the tune of large business.
Business ethic emerged as a result of the abuse of human rights and because of the need for corporate organisation to be more ethical and humane in doing business. This has come to the fore front in recent time with the media keeping a constant look out for corporate organisations that abuse or refuse to up hold their social responsibilities in any way. As a result of this organisations now pay more attention to business ethic education and training in order to meet this ever growing ethical responsibility. The growth and development of businesses worldwide has brought about an increase in the standard of living but on the other hand it has resulted in the abuse of workers in many parts of the world.
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Corporate social responsibility has enter a new phase in which the responsibility of business have to be clearly defined. According to Andrew chapman and Scott Jerbi there are growing expectation that corporation should do everything their powers to promote universal human rights standards even in conflict situation where governance structure have broken down.
War on Want has published research which shows that Bangladeshi workers making clothes for Primark, Tesco and Asda toil up to 80 hours a week and earn as little as half a living wage. http://uk.oneworld.net/article/view 4/04/2010
War on Want senior campaigns officer Simon McRae said: “British companies continue to commit serious human rights abuses across the world. Yet the government's only response is to come up with voluntary initiatives which companies are free to ignore. When will ministers take real action to hold these companies to account?”
For any market place to be effective there has to be ethical behaviour on the part of buyers and sellers. According to Solomon (1996) ethical behaviour on the part of both buyers and sellers is tantamount to the effectiveness of the market place. Regardless of the degree of the competition, the successful functioning of the market place rest on the foundation of mutually agreed- upon rules of conduct and shared interest. For the relationship to remain beneficial to both parties it has to be of value to both of them. Unethical behaviour by either party disrupts the relationship and produces exchanges that are both unproductive and ineffective (Morgan and Hunt, 1994)
Journal of business ethics: Sam fullerton, KatShleen B kerch,H Robert Dodge 805-814, 1996
II. Structure of the report
The report is a focus on the retail cloth industry in relation to its business ethics. In recent times there has been lots of issue on the way clothing retailers deal with human right. People feel that they are not doing enough to deal with human right abuse globally. The report will draw attention to the challenges faced by labour as result of globalisation and the need for a lasting solution through effective corporate policies and strategies.
Firstly, the report will identify and spell out company's responsibilities in the protection of human rights, freedom fromslavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and degrading treatment. Which if not up held by any company will damage its brand image and bring about a loss of confidence by customers. Other chapters will talk on recent discussions on business ethics and how consumers view human right standards as regards consumption of products making use of journals, internet, reports etc. The aim is to bring out the different theories and views by various authors for better understanding.
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In the second chapter which deals with the literature review it will focus on the various ideas and theories that talks about the need for upholding human right standards in the clothing industry. The different theoretical approaches will be analysed with recent happenings in mind for a much better understanding and also help formulate better business ethics practice in the clothing industry.
Case studies, recent findings and current happenings will be dealt with in chapter three with relation to the various theories as regards the cloth industry. The back ground of discussion for the study will be taken from the various findings and the data collected. From the analyses of different publications consumers have different views on the labour law as it relates with goods, pricing, and human rights standards.
Using the various theories and principles that underline the argument the impact of business ethics on globalisation will discussed in chapter four. The report will show that human right abuses in poor counties of the world are on the increase in the clothing industry. It will also emphasis the importance of upholding human rights for equitability and safety.
The Final chapter will focus on the conclusion and recommendations drawn from analysis of data collected.