Joining the Movement
These journal entries are different to the previous entries because it doesn't answer the question, but it provides evidence that multinational corporations are making a positive effort to join the movement for promoting and respecting human rights.
Myanmar garment industry gets ‘Code of Conduct’
Article: Myanmar (Burma) garment industry gets ‘Code of Conduct’
5th February 2015
By Mizzima (Myanmar)
- Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) has published the country’s first ever Code of Conduct in a move that aims to set out responsible and ethical business practice.
- MGMA released the code after the EU-funded SMART Myanmar Programme following a comprehensive series of workshops and meetings with international bands and partners.
- Myanmar’s garment sector and industry is growing; workers rights activists and factory workers have often complained about working environment and low wage levels.
- EU’s SMART (Environmental, Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency) Programme aims to support sustainable production and strive to increase the international competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.
- SMART Myanmar says it plays an important role in improving the factories and policies allowing the industry to grow
EU’s SMART Programme is setting an example and showing how growth in industries can be achieved with the enactment of responsible and ethical business practice. Myanmar is an example of country using SMART as a showcase, and improving their business practice with actions like the Code of Conduct. Myanmar is only one example of the SMART Programme’s success, and this will continue to grow with smaller undeveloped countries allowing their industries and business practice to evolve and improve
Businesses have a role promoting peace in conflict zones
Article: Businesses have a role promoting peace in conflict zones
22nd September 2014
By Oliver Balch
This article allows me to broaden my knowledge, especially concerning corporations actively respecting and promoting human rights. You mainly hear about big corporations violating these rights, but this article give me the opportunity to learn about how big corporations are promoting human rights.
- Coco-Cola is promoting global peace in its new advert filmed and aimed at the Congo, as well as the rest of the world
- The advert promotes the celebration of Peace Day on 21st September, which calls for the world to stop fighting for 24 hours and celebrate non-violence. In 2008, this celebration resulted in violence decreasing by 70% in Afghanistan.
- The event organiser, Peace One Day, has announced that businesses need peace otherwise the company won’t be able to work in the conflicted area
- Unilever boss Paul Polman heads a ‘corporate coalition’ which states how much businesses must promote peace in order for business to grow
- Business can model good practice and provide work to struggling communities worldwide
- Simon Constantine, head of ethical buying at Lush, concedes that businesses too often fail to protect human rights in conflict and post-conflict zones. “It’s time for business to review how it conducts itself and plan for long-term positive solutions, as opposed to short-term destructive ones in these regions”, he argues.
Peace Day is a very good idea because not only does it promote peace on a global scale but it has provided results of decreased violence in conflicted areas. The whole promotion by businesses shows that some companies are actually interested in promoting a good model to undeveloped corners of the world by the large amounts of money invested into projects round the world. It also restores your faith as an individual in humanity, in the terms of very powerful companies are still trying to do some good in the world. These projects allow great employment opportunities for undeveloped areas to engage in positive activities and achieve a better standard of living. A key underlying motivator for this occasion is the opportunity for 1st world countries to teach they approach and mentality to corners of the world that still suffer from ancient problems such as homosexuality. It will shows places like the Congo that non-discrimination to many different groups and many different acts is accepted and normal in developed countries, which in hindsight can promote the respect of human rights.
Kenya: Camac Energy stops oil exploration in forested area after locals protest
Article: Kenya: Camac Energy stops oil exploration in forested area after locals protest
24th November 2014
By Daily Nation
An American firm, Camac Energy, exploring for oil and gas on Kenya’s coast has cancelled its seismic study from proceeding in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest following opposition by local community. Camac moved into Kenya in 2012 and maintains it has had the necessary clearance from the government and its agencies, as well as receiving the necessary approvals. Camac’s asset portfolio consists of nine licences across four countries (approx. 10 million acres): Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
In this week’s journal I looked at the above article on a foreign company exploring oil and gas, similar to Talisman in Sudan. The article was quite brief so I decided to do further research on Camac Energy’s influence in Africa. The main question I wanted answering was how similar is Camac’s presence in Africa to Talisman’s presence in Sudan.
My first thought on the matter was that Camac had respected the opinions and the human rights of the local community, and cancelled their seismic study in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. This differs from Talisman because throughout their oil exploration there was no evidence of them respecting the local community’s human rights. I wanted to see if Camac presented this respectful image throughout Africa. My further research showed that Camac did maintain this respectful image; both Kenya and Gambia had made on oil exploration blocks on Camac accessing different parts of the countries, and Camac had respected these wishes. This differs from Talisman, because in this scenario it feels as if the African governments are in charge and Camac is respectively following their wishes, where as in Sudan it felt as if Talisman had a greater power and were not subject to any wishes of the government or any agencies. The Canadian government were the only power that Talisman seemed to respect during their time in Sudan. The only drawback of Camac’s presence was that in April 2014 tensions were rising between Ghana and Nigeria because of disputes over oil ownership. This point shows that whenever individuals have the same proprietary interest in a material, especially oil, this often brings tension.
This article shows a great advancement of the development of communities' human rights, however when there is converging interest tensions seem to rise which lead to violations.