Business and Human Rights

Business and Human Rights

June 2, 2016

Save the Date invitations have been sent and the countdown has officially begun to the Business and Human Rights forum, which takes place in August this year.

New Zealand businesses are increasingly aware that respecting human rights is not only the right thing to do - it's also good for business. Many businesses ensure they look after their workers, customers and the communities they operate in by complying with regulations. This is a great start, and it needs to go further.

From the 9th to the 12th of August, the Commission is bringing the leading experts on Business and Human Rights, Shift, to New Zealand to facilitate a three-day Business and Human Rights Forum.

As part of the Forum, events are being held where kiwi businesses can learn more about the economic advantages and benefits of actively respecting human rights, and the cost of not doing so.

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says the forum will be a great way to help businesses recognise the positive work they are doing now and understand how they can do even better.

“While a number of New Zealand Businesses already do a pretty good job of doing right by their staff, customers and communities, many don’t recognise what human rights look like in their businesses or how to protect them.

“Because of our size, New Zealand does import a wide range of products that can’t be produced here. This means that even something as simple as a plain white t-shirt can have a number of supply chain touch points that the New Zealand retailer may not know about.

“This is also not just an issue with international supply chains. People think human rights abuses are not happening in our backyard, but they certainly are. There have been cases of exploitation in the likes of the hospitality, horticulture, viticulture and dairy industries.

“We’re keen to see our businesses armed with the tools and skills they need to be able to assess the who, what, where, when and why of each of their products and ensure that they are doing right by every person in their supply chain – the forum will an important step in achieving this.”

For more information on the forum, visit here.


Tūrangawaewae is the Human Rights Commission's newsletter. You can read our latest newsletter  here.