The Human Rights Journey

These podcasts look back to the start of the human rights journey within particular companies, addressing the challenges of obtaining senior level buy-in and the ways in which human rights awareness can be embedded within the business.

One of the challenges faced by many companies is the question of how to begin talking about human rights within the business when the term can mean different things to different people. In addition, leadership on human rights calls for senior-level responses across business units and across geographies.

Both speakers discuss the journey their companies are on to address human rights in practice. These podcasts were recorded prior to the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles.

“To focus on leading human rights inside a company as large as GE can be daunting because the employment of the company is over 300,000 people – more than half are scattered outside the US – with over 100 countries of operation and 100s of business facilities….If the control and enforcement mechanism involved a separate procedure and a separate group of people it would fail because what is important in any business is in its core processes of how work gets done.” Bob Corcoran, VP, Corporate Citizenship, General Electric Company

“Our journey with respect to human rights is a little bit different to many businesses. When I came to the company in 2005 it was initially to restore a global labour relations function. What became evident to me was that as the company had to deal with stakeholders it had to define what it stood for.” Ed Potter, Director, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company