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Business and Human Rights on Blog Action Day #BAD13

October 16, 2013

Each Year, WebSite101 participates in Blog Action Day #BAD13 to help support a project with the goal of bettering our world through attention and writing on a topic agreed upon by a panel of supporting bloggers. This year the topic is Human Rights. As a site focused on Small Business, we understand that our audience is very often a local business and that somehow we feel that human rights issues are taking place in distant lands, far away from our concerns about serving our daily customers.

On this day however, we’d like to ask that you look further afield than within the building and community that we do our business. Think about your suppliers, vendors and manufacturers and how each of them may contribute (or not) to Human Rights around the world. If we purchase wholesale clothing or electronics, we can ask ourselves what we know of the factory where the shirts or appliances or phones were made and think about how that business contributes to protecting human rights.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of international human rights abuses of workers toiling in crowded, dimly lit warehouses in dangerous conditions, far from their families. Sometimes these working conditions are deplorable, sometimes the labor is forced or near slavery. If we find new suppliers for our wholesale purchases that respect their workers and pay them reasonable wages while offering safe places to work and clean, comfortable room and board – this is the beginning of improving the conditions for all workers worldwide.

We’d like to suggest that all business owners take 15 minutes to read a document ratified in 1948 by the United Nations, soon after it’s establishment. It’s called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consists of 30 articles to support the following goal:

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Whether we take the next step and take action, even if we only decide to contribute to organizations that support human rights – then we’ve done a small part and contributed to moving our national will and consciousness toward solving these problems. Then consider sharing this goal on social media and among your customers and those you do business with yourself.

Mike Banks Valentine #BAD2013

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