In a globalised world, economic activities are cross-sectorial, intertwined and have a direct impact on the living conditions and the rights of people all over the globe. The human rights references in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) confirms this impact.

The UN has set forth a collection of Sustainable Development Goals (referred to as SDGs) with the goal of providing “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” *

With more than 90% of the SDGs being embedded in international human rights law, our goal is to ensure your business activities are aligned with international human rights and labour standards and, through that contribute to the realisation of the SDGs.

The SDGs are the heart of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and understanding their connection to human rights and how they impact your organisations operations are critical to your own sustainable success.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the SDGs and how they impact your organisation:

With more than 90% of the SDGs being embedded in international human rights law, human rights are a fundamental part of the entire Agenda 2030. Aligned with the principles of the UN Global Compact businesses will automatically contribute to reaching the Agenda 2030.

With the “Decent Work” concept, the ILO has defined humane working conditions and decent wages.  The decent work agenda provides legal provisions on the fundamental rights at work, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective.

By striving for decent work (together with other international labour- and human rights standards) along their value chains, businesses contribute to the SDGs (8, 5, & 10).

By increasing fair employment opportunities, especially for young people, reducing “informal employment and labour market (particularly in terms of the gender pay gap), promote safe and secure working environments, and improve access to financial services to ensure sustained and inclusive economic growth“ *, businesses contribute to SDGs 10 and 1.

Fair labour conditions foster a progressive generation where there are more equal opportunities and should eliminate gender discrimination. 

“Goal 17 seeks to strengthen global partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda, bringing together national governments, the international community, civil society, the private sector and other actors“ *. This also applies to the corporate world. By bundling our efforts and joining multi-stakeholder platforms best practices, potential human rights & labour risks as well as potential areas of improvement can be shared in a global network to find common grounds and move the Agenda 2030 forward.

Many developing countries have a minimum wage, but it is often not enough to live from *. In Bangladesh, for example, the statutory minimum wage is just 18 € per month, which is far below the living wage of around 55 €.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), hunger affected around 821 million people around the world in 2017 alone, and three in four undernourished people live in rural areas and must produce their own food *. We cover how to manage these risks in our Knowledge Paper “How Companies can deal with Labour Exploitation in the Agricultural Sector“, but the key takeaway is the following…

By ensuring all workers along your supply chain get paid fair living wages and work under safe conditions, you ensure workers have sufficient resources to finance a humane living standard and won’t suffer illnesses due to their work.  These actions in and of themselves aid in reaching SDGs 1 & 2, no poverty and zero hunger respectively.

One of the fundamental rights in the workplace is the right to safe and healthy working conditions (SDG 3). By implementing a thorough human rights due diligence process, businesses can avoid jeopardizing workers’ health while at the job.  We help businesses to develop and implement policies, reliable grievance mechanisms and audits along their supply chain to ensure fair, safe and healthy working conditions.

The term slavery might seem outdated, but there are still millions of people living under slave-like conditions. Currently, there are 40.3 million people in 167 countries affected, of which 25 million live in forced labour generating $150 billion in profits for other parties *. 

One of the biggest problems for companies in identifying exploitation and modern slavery along their supply chain is the lack of transparency and traceability of products & services. So we help businesses to tackle these challenges and manage the risks and complexities related to modern slavery. For more information, please check out our knowledge paper Tackling Modern Slavery in the Supply Chain).

By introducing sustainable production patterns and implementing a human rights due diligence process aligned with the UNGPs, transparency can be created and the risks of modern slavery can be managed.

These are processes that will also contribute to SDGs 8, 9, 12.

The link between children’s rights and other social issues are diverse and the ILO estimates that 11 percent of children are working, with almost half of them being between 5 and 11 years of age *. In our work as a Think Tank, we carried out various studies in the field of Children’s Rights and Business in 2018 and we could easily see that children’s rights are indeed affected.

In many parts of the value chain, corporate action can directly or indirectly affect the situation of children and we advise companies on how they can strategically manage the risk of infringing children’s rights along their value chain. By doing so, companies contribute to reaching SDG 4, 5 & 10.

Water, forests and wilderness: The foundations of life are endangered around the world. Every year, between 120 million and 150 million square kilometres of forest are wiped out – a rate equivalent to 48 football fields every minute *.

Among other things, this affects indigenous groups as they are particularly at risk of losing their homes.

Environmental protection and human rights go hand in hand. Dyeing textiles has a huge impact on the environment and health of the local population. Through a thorough sustainability strategy, you can avoid negative impacts on people and the environment and reach a large number of SDGs, in particular SDG 6, 7, 11, 13, 14 & 15.