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Human right
Defending Human Rights
Principle One
Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights within their sphere of influence; and
Principle Two
Make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
The Origin of the Human Rights Principles
Human rights are universal and belong to everyone equally. The origin of Principles One and Two is in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The aim of this Declaration was to set basic minimum international standards for the protection of the rights and freedoms of the individual. The fundamental nature of these provisions means that they are now widely regarded as forming a foundation of international law. In particular, the principles of the UDHR are considered to be international customary law and do not require signature or ratification by the state to be recognised as a legal standard.
The UDHR is a keystone document, it has been translated into over 3000 languages and dialects. While some principles may not be directly applicable to business, consistency with the declaration is important.