Businesses across Europe must live up to their human rights responsibilities, says Nils Muižnieks.
“The effects of business practices on human rights have become a central issue for human rights protection,” the Commissioner for Human Rights declares in an article published today.
“For a long time already, concerns have been raised about malpractices related to labour rights, health and safety at work and the use of child labour by some business enterprises.
“Later on, the outsourcing and privatisation of essential services previously carried out by public authorities ranging from security to education and child protection have raised issues about the preservation of human rights duties and accountability.
“More recently, the right to privacy and freedom of expression have become major themes with reference to private companies which control and operate on the Internet and the wider digital environment.
While states remain the ultimate duty bearers for the protection of human rights, there is now wide recognition that businesses should also respect human rights.”