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Business Ethics and Human Rights: Why They Go Hand-in-Hand

Any company, procurement-based or otherwise, needs to understand and appreciate why business ethics and human rights go hand-in-hand. Basic human rights including (but not limited to) equality, privacy and freedom from slavery, should be carefully considered when working with partners and within your work practices.

Since projected into education in the early 1970s, business ethics now play a key role in company strategies. These practices ensure the safety of ourselves, and others, in the workplace and outside of this. You may be familiar with the UK decision that workers can take a 20-minute rest break if working more than 6 hours a day. In procurement, there are even more layers of ethics that must be applied to internal and external areas of your business.

Why Incorporate Business Ethics?

Not only do business ethics protect yourself and those around you from being endangered mentally, physically and financially, but they set ground rules of what a company stands for. If you’re certified under human rights acts and you reach for ways in which you can strive to be ethically better, your company will be trustworthy.

At Unimed, we take pride in constantly reviewing our values and business practices and seeking out ways in which we can contribute to making the world a fairer place, as well as healthier. Therefore, we proudly perform under The Social Value Act. This guides us to make wider social, economic and environmental decisions within all practices. Slavery and human trafficking are unacceptable and will never be involved with our procurement services. Read our policy here.

Is Health a Human Right?

Health is a human right. This is a huge part of our mission, as we want to increase access to healthcare globally. We believe that no one, regardless of who they are and where they are, should have to suffer from a lack of access to medical products or equipment

As the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated in its constitution, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” Unimed subscribes to this statement specifically, as we all deserve to live a healthy life without consequence.

UN Global Compact Practices

No one wants to experience what the world would be without human rights. Unfortunately, in some less-developed countries, citizens do not experience the same level of access to healthcare and freedom as the rest of us. We are committed to delivering and procuring medical essentials to all that need them, and this is something we look for in the partners Unimed works with.

We have put policies and processes into place to abide by the ten universal principles described in the UN Global Compact, in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. This follows along as to why business ethics should meet (at least) the minimum requirements for fundamental responsibilities in human rights.

How Can the World Progress in These Practices?

We all need to constantly strive to do more and become better at incorporating human rights principles in business ethics. For example, the UN Global Compact Strategy to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 should be worked towards by all businesses, regardless of their size.

Continue speaking out on human rights issues and amplify the voices of those around you who also express their human rights concerns. Once you speak up, back up your words with actions by considering human rights within your business and daily life in general.

Click here to find out more about our principles at Unimed.

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