This post is also available in: Turkish
A blog co-authored with Nadia Hashmi, human rights lead at the British Embassy in Ankara
Human rights and trade can seem strange bedfellows. Sometimes people argue that the two are diametrically opposed. Their logic is that a government’s focus on security and the economy means that it attaches less importance to human rights.
The United Kingdom is keen to demonstrate that such arguments don’t hold water. With our increasing partnerships with emerging economies like Turkey, the British government believes work to build trade and investment should complement, rather than contradict, work to uphold international law and good governance.
That is why British Foreign Secretary William Hague is today launching a initiative to promote human rights in business. The aim is to ensure that all British businesses overseas comply with international human rights standards and principles, including the UN guiding principles on business and human rights.
These standards and principles are crucial in all areas of business – from diamond trading to clothing and food manufacture.
Human rights matter. They’re not just for governments. They’re for all organisations and all people to implement. By playing their role, responsible businesses can set standards of behaviour, remove incentives to abuse, help tackle disadvantage and strengthen communities. Let’s help make it happen.