Human Rights and Business: How reconcilable are they?

Open Letter to Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP: Parliamentary Inquiry into human rights and business

Dear Rt Hon Harman,

I am pleased to submit our response to your inquiry into human rights and business. I understand that you have asked for evidence focused on how far the 2016 National Action Plan has gone in respecting the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights. I have focused my submission on issues that I believe will complement other statements while using evidence from our existing and past projects as an international research institute that is registered as a charity and has no political allegiances. I also draw evidence from the work that we did together for the Human Rights Insight Project and while you served as the Human Rights minister.

As a Joint Committee, I am sure that at the back of many of your members’ minds will be the future of human rights in the UK, following a potential exit from the EU. I join a number of human rights campaigns against initiatives that want to see Britain out of regional and international conventions and fora including the European Convention on Human Rights.

As I write this submission, Britain is divided. A divided country is a weak country whether this relates to its finances, housing market, currency, foreign and social policies. Uncertainty creates fear and fear creates tensions. At the same time, our cities, society and businesses have been hit by unprecedented waves of hate incidents. Ignorance and misinformation once again have led sel