Date and Time
Wednesday December 11, 2019
10:00 am-12:00 pm Japan Standard Time
The time is now for an overhaul of the social contract to address 21st-century realities and needs. A new social contract can deliver long-term value creation that enables economic security and mobility, is genuinely inclusive, and addresses challenges such as the transition to clean energy and the emergence of a digital world.
Through our work addressing modern slavery across supply chains, we have observed an alarming uptick in business actions during the COVID-19 pandemic that may lead to more individuals being forced into conditions of modern slavery, or on the brink thereof.
2020 has demonstrated powerfully the importance of a fully functioning social safety net, public health systems, and global collaboration. Reforms to the social contract are clearly needed to protect public health, economic security, and the right of all people to participate fully in society.
COVID-19 has aggravated existing inequalities, with rapidly changing business operating environments requiring fast decision-making based on often imperfect information. There is little doubt that some company decisions will have caused harm to employees, local residents, or customers. Companies will be held to account and asked to rectify these harms and to fulfill their duties to provide access to remedy.
COVID-19 has exposed many of the structural and systemic issues disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations, including people of color, LGBTI people, migrants, and more. As we celebrate Pride Month in 2020, it is more important than ever to recognize the struggles of disenfranchised communities all over the world and the interconnectivity of these struggles for justice and equality.
BSR has developed three primers on how to respect human rights during the COVID-19 crisis: one for the energy and extractives sector, one for the food, beverage, and agriculture sector, and one for the transportation and logistics sector.
The brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers last week—following on the previous killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, and countless others—is yet another example of the systemic and institutional racism that persists in the United States.
Earlier today, Facebook published an executive summary of a human rights impact assessment that BSR conducted on behalf of Facebook in Cambodia and its response to those recommendations. We welcome this disclosure as part of Facebook’s increasingly strategic approach to human rights due diligence.