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She explains to the groups the human rights

A question Christine Kaufmann accompanied already live their whole Researchers: How can the human rights in the world of business and work to implement? Since J

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She explains to the groups the human rights

A question Christine Kaufmann accompanied already live their whole Researchers: How can the human rights in the world of business and work to implement? Since January, the Zurich Professor is sitting at a key to the answers to this question to influence them in the future. Merchant directs the Committee for corporate governance at the Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) in Paris.

"Until you bite in, for example, a chocolate stem, put the cocoa in a long way," says the Professor of Public law, international and European law, in her office at the University of Zurich. "Cocoa is traded on the major commodity stock exchanges. It is not easy, as ever to find out where a delivery is coming," says Kaufmann. It was unclear whether all of the parties Involved in acceptable working conditions. The chocolate was just an emotional product, the wool, you can enjoy with a clear Conscience. Find out the country of origin, maybe then you land at the customs authorities. "And all of a sudden you are studying tariffs, although it is about human rights."

Something out of the privileged life, their own responsibilities, that the world is a little bit better, these are the thoughts that preoccupied businessman even as a young Jusstudentin in Zurich. "The human rights were a good introduction to the international law," she says. The right to food, made it the topic of your Dissertation. Strongly, you have your grandmother. The had to be moved by the fight, as a trained seamstress in Aargau alone three children. She had never the word impossible didn't exist. "You always said you got to get off, who are you and what have you, make the Best. It goes on and on." And sharing was a matter of course.


From today's perspective, she was a bit naive on the topic of your Dissertation. "When it comes to the food supply, you end up very quickly in the case of economic issues and the interests of the company." Exactly in that subject area so, in the merchant of today is an expert. Then you have the purely economic way of thinking first of all, confused. What were the statistical values, if it was a matter of life how the issue of Hunger actually people?

The way in the practice, allowed her to dig deeper into the mindset of the Economists. Kaufmann worked around ten years with the Swiss national Bank. "The theme of responsibility was always on top of everything. Had decisions have a direct impact on the people of Switzerland." At the same time it had become increasingly clear that progress on human rights are only possible when the economy is in the efforts to involve binding. On a research stay in the USA, she returned to science. "For the company, it is sometimes very challenging, the entire supply track chain of its raw materials to," says Kaufmann.

recently, a report by the international labour organisation have shown that 60 percent of people worldwide are working without a labor contract. A large part of the cocoa to come, for example, from plantations in West Africa. "We know, however, that there is in the ivory coast farms, where children in a kind of slave relationship to work." To find out whether the raw materials come from such a Farm, is complicated detective work. "If you've located a supply in the country, will put thousands of small suppliers behind it, which appear in no order book." Therefore, the work of non-governmental organizations is often crucial.

company instead of States

The legal issues are similarly challenging. "In international law it is States. Companies come in handy, they play globally in the last decades an increasingly important role," says Kaufmann. The peoples behind here right the realities of the globalised economy. You have spoken to either commercial law or human rights, but not to both leave together. She herself had sat so long between the chairs, but in the last 15 years this Position has become increasingly important.

In human rights is that everyone has the right to protection of his personality. "But how can a company implement, if someone has, for example, in a Mine working in difficult conditions?" And who could be made legally for the compliance with liable?

A milestone had been the "guiding principles on business and human rights". The United Nations adopted in the year 2011. Companies are responsible to respect human rights, means there. The OECD speaks also of a "responsible corporate governance". In addition, it takes the States, in a duty. You need to ensure that the companies adhere to the principles.

cocoa beans: where are you from? Who has she picked? Photo: iStockPhoto

"We are now in an intermediate phase; the respect of human rights is for companies to voluntarily, but it is expected, even if this is not in the law." To develop these questions, legal answers, which are of practical use, is a merchant Mission, now also in the OECD. "The companies need to establish procedures to determine which risks for humans and the environment arise and how you can prevent it." It sounds easier than it is, as the example of children's work show.

The moral outrage over sneakers or balls, had to work which children, shares a merchant. "The Reflex is, I buy not something out of child labour." In fact, however, there are no simple solutions. To prohibit "child labour in principle, unfortunately, it is currently the wrong approach." The have shown various studies. The families were financially dependent on the additional income. Without the work of the children's Situation worsens, and as a way out of Prostitution threatens. "The key, however, is that the work is dangerous and the children can go to school."

Against child labour could be anyone in the Small active. "We can choose as consumers many products. This freedom brings with it responsibilities." So one should ask, where and how, for example, a T-Shirt was made, and throw it away not Wear after only twice. You consider when shopping, each of these principles.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 08.02.2019, 18:32 PM

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