Responsible Business

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New OECD Guidelines to Protect Rights and Social Development

The development of a globalized economy promises to present new challenges for governments and organizations that are committed to the protection of human rights. In a world where commerce takes place on a global scale, it is critical that international organizations take a more active role in protecting the rights of workers. This article provides a description of a recent initiative by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which does exactly that. Under these new guidelines, countries like Argentina, Egypt, Peru, and Romania have pledged to uphold international standards and labor laws pertaining to members of the workforce. Hopefully, this type of legislation reform will pave the way for other meaningful policy changes in the future.

“New OECD Guidelines to Protect Rights and Social Development.” Organization for Cooperation and Development. 25 May 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. <,3746,en_21571361_44315115_48029523_1_1_1_1,00.html>.



Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

This article by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) explains the enormous potential of small businesses as vehicles of economic improvement for impoverished individuals. By utilizing “fair business” practices, the CRS hopes to help people in poverty create small, sustainable businesses that can help them become economically prosperous. When they are offered fair prices for their produce, small-scale farmers can make enough money to support their families. Additionally, extra income allows farmers to add diversity to the crops they produce, making them less dependent on one source of income. The advantages of fair business practices extend beyond economic benefit. In past projects, the CRS has found that their efforts have led to a greater sense of community and social connection.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.” Catholic Relief Services. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <>.



Wal-Mart is Being Pressed to Disclose How Global Suppliers Treat Workers

Recently, Wal-Mart has been the subject of much criticism because of its policies towards its workers. At an annual shareholders meeting, a group of New York City pension funds asked Wal-Mart to disclose reports on the condition of its factories overseas. Wal-Mart produces most of its products in other countries, and the company is rarely forced to comply with comprehensive labor laws that are at a high standard. Many labor organizations around the world have voiced their concern about Wal-Mart’s policies towards its employees and its reluctance to release detailed information about inspections of factories. Many organizations hope that Wal-Mart will make more of an effort to abide by international regulations concerning workplace safety and human rights.

Clifford, Stephanie. Wal-Mart is Being Pressed to Disclose How Global Suppliers Treat Workers.” New York Times. 30 May 2011. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <>.

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