Corporate human rights training – and why you need it
People do business with people, not companies.
Companies are essentially made up of a group of people with different skill sets and purposes. When a company is expected to respect human rights, it means that people working at various levels and in various roles within that company are expected to respect human rights.
But how can you respect something don’t know about? The first step a company must take to meet its human rights obligations is to help its employees understand human rights and how they relate to their work.
Companies are increasingly coming to this realisation. Whether it’s a trend accelerated by recent sustainability legislation or the growing pressure from investors and consumers on companies to do business responsibly, more and more companies are requesting human rights training for their employees, and in some cases, for their suppliers as well.
This trend is also reflected in the enquiries we receive at Löning. Over the past year, we have seen a remarkable increase in the number of requests for workshops and other training courses; human rights training is now the second most sought-after service that clients contact us for.
Corporate human rights training is both an effective and easy-to-implement way to prevent human rights risks. It is a process that companies are increasingly implementing as a preventive measure in line with recent corporate sustainability legislation, such as the German Supply Chain Act (the “Lieferkettengesetz”).
But what exactly does corporate human rights training mean in practice?
It means making employees aware of how their day-to-day work affects people. For example, effective human rights training will make a procurement manager aware of how their purchasing practices affect the rights of people in a developing country. It can make an HR professional aware of the unconscious gender bias that influences their hiring decisions. This understanding is the first step towards embedding human rights in your corporate culture.
Encouraging your employees to look at their work through a human rights lens is also a cost-effective way to help prevent potential human rights issues in your business. Building the capacity of your employees to identify and manage human rights risks at an early stage is a smart and responsible business strategy, and tailored, practice-based courses are an effective way to achieve this.
Whether offering a standard introductory course or a tailored capacity-building programme for a key function, the Löning Academy develops and delivers the right training for your specific audience and purpose.