The fashion and textile industry has complex connections to many different contractors in many different countries. The search for profit is likely to create the temptation to exploit people associated with the industry, e.g. workers and models. But respecting human rights is the core of making a viable and sustainable business and you have the responsibility to make sure that everyone who works for or with your business is treated with dignity and respect.
Anyone who works for or with your business and contributes to or is impacted by it in any way should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of social status, personal characteristics and beliefs. Discrimination in any form is prohibited and abuse is not tolerated.
Businesses must support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
People, production and quality are interrelated. Genuine respect for a company’s labour force and stakeholders can promote long-term viable business, whereas violations of human rights and discrimination risk isolating a business from the wider community and damaging a company’s reputation. A poor image potentially affects a company’s profitability and stock valuation.
Make sure that you are not complicit in human rights abuses
The NICE Manual refers to human rights as described in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration defines human rights as the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. These include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to work and the right to education.
Respecting human rights includes avoiding complicity in human rights abuse. This basically means that businesses should avoid being implicated in human rights abuse beyond their own direct business activities or, in other words, in human rights abuse caused by another company, government, individual, group etc.