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Passion Islam I January 2010 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
British companies criticised
for human rights record
The UK government was urged
to impose tougher standards on
businesses following a report from
MPs that some British multinational
companies have a “woeful” human
rights record abroad.
Parliament’s Joint Select
Committee on Human Rights said
that the government should develop
a strategy that “clearly sets out the
human rights standards which UK
businesses are expected to meet.”
“Human rights law is designed
to protect the individual against the
State. In the modern world, the law
is increasingly failing to address
the impact of the private sector on
individual rights,” said committee
chair Andrew Dismore.
“When businesses incorporated in
one country operate across the globe
the only way properly to address this
is a binding international agreement,”
Dismore suggested.
In a new report, the human rights
about companies “using forced guidance to business on human rights
committee said it was “most concerned
labour, polluting neighbourhoods, and to set the standards which the UK
about the range and seriousness of
collaborating with repressive regimes considers business should meet.
allegations both in the press and in
and helping in projects that forced “We are not convinced by the
the evidence we received, including
people out of their homes or damaged argument that if the UK takes a lead
against 18 British companies which
their health.” in this area it would impact on UK
are household names.” But none
Dismore accused the government business competitiveness,” he said,
were named.
had “no coherent strategy” but said calling on the government to review
It said that MPs heard complaints that much that it can do to provide rules and produce a new guidance.
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