Health - an introduction
Below are select introductory materials on business and health (including workplace health & safety). Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Health: General" section of our site.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses & non-responses
- Positive steps by companies
- Lawsuits regarding health
Key international standards
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: article 25
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: General Comment 14
Key reports & guidance
Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide [PDF], UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Intl. Business Leaders Forum, UN Global Compact & Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, Monash University [Australia], 5 Dec 2008 – see p. 125, “Right to health”
Word from the Street: Toxicity and Health [PDF], Investor Environmental Health Network and Business for Social Responsibility, May 2008
Leadership Matters - The elimination of fatalities, Intl. Council on Mining & Metals, Jun 2009
Report to UN Human Rights Council - Addendum: Mission to Côte d’Ivoire and the Netherlands [PDF], Okechukwu Ibeanu, Special Rapporteur on adverse effects of movement & dumping of toxic & dangerous products & wastes on human rights, 3 Sep 2009
The Right to Health: A Duty for Whom? - Intl. Symposium Report [PDF], Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, 2004
Abra Pampa: a Community Polluted, a Community Ignored - The Struggle for Environmental and Health Rights in Argentina [PDF], Human Rights Clinic at Univ. of Texas School of Law [USA], Aug 2009
Concerns, company responses & non-responses
The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct. Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding health (including workplace health & safety). We also indicate when a company has not responded.
Global: No Dirty Gold campaign calls on 8 “laggard” jewellery retailers to sign on to social & environmental standards on gold sourcing, Mar 2006. Response from Fred Meyer Jewelers (part of Kroger), JC Penney, Jostens, QVC (part of Liberty Media), Wal-Mart. No response from Kmart/Sears, Rolex, Whitehall Jewellers.
Global: British American Tobacco has used its corporate responsibility efforts to resist international health laws to curb smoking, says report by Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid, ASH, May 2005. Response from British American Tobacco.
Ghana: Participants in workshop organised by Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining raise concerns about environmental & health impacts of mining operations, June 2005. Responses from AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont.
South Africa: Bench Marks Foundation report says platinum mines in North West Province owned by Anglo Platinum, Lonmin, Implats, Xstrata putting workers' & communities' health at risk, Jul 2007. Responses from Anglo Platinum, Implats, Xstrata. No response received from Lonmin.
USA: "Toxic 100" list of corporate air polluters, Univ. of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), May 2006. Responses from Alcoa, Archer Daniels Midland, DuPont, US Steel, GE, Eastman Kodak. Ford. No response received from ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Tyson Foods.
USA: "Toxic 100" list of corporate air polluters, Univ. of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Apr 2008. Responses from Du Pont, Nissan, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bayer, Dow Chemical, Kodak, General Electric (GE), Arcelor Mittal, US Steel, ExxonMobil.
Positive steps by companies
China: World Economic Forum launches China Health Alliance, a partnership against TB and AIDS - companies involved include Accenture, BD, Constella Futures, Esquel, iKang, Karstadt Quelle, Marie Stopes, Pfizer, Swire Beverages
Lawsuits regarding health
Related stories and components
Tackling Green Tobacco Sickness - Companies Seek to Help Field Workers Avoid Acute Nicotine Poisoning
Author: Lauren Ettier, Wall Street Journal
Workers who toil in tobacco fields have suffered quietly for years from a type of acute nicotine poisoning called green tobacco sickness. Now, the world's biggest tobacco companies -- under pressure from human-rights and farm-labor activists -- are...
Author: Floro Taguinod, GMANews.TV [Philippines]
The Runruno Land Owners Association (Rulanas) through its spokesperson, Kathleen Guillao, lamented that a mining firm [MTL Philippines Mining Corporation (part of Metals Exploration)] operating in...Runruno village remain unflinching to the plight of...
- Related stories: Phillipines: Community claims mining operations by Metals Exploration "endangers lives"
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- Related companies: Metals Exploration
Author: OHCHR, IBLF, UN Global Compact & Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, Monash University [Australia]
Readers are guided through each of the rights contained in the UN treaties...and given a description of what each right means in general terms and how it may be relevant to a company’s activities...To bring reality to the report, each description of a...
- Related stories: Coca-Cola lawsuit (re Colombia) Freeport-McMoRan lawsuits (re West Papua) New practical human rights guide for business by UN Global Compact, IBLF, Castan Centre, OHCHR Shell lawsuit (re Nigeria - Kiobel & Wiwa) Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal) Yahoo! lawsuit (re China) Show moreShow less
- Related in-depth areas: Arbitrary detention - an introduction Health - an introduction Killings - an introduction Latest Legal News
- Related companies: Abengoa adidas Aker Kvaerner Alcoa Alibaba.com AOL Barclays Bayer Bayer CropScience (part of Bayer) Bechtel Ben & Jerry's (part of Unilever) BHP Billiton BP British Airways British American Tobacco CACI CBRL Group Chevron Cisco Systems Coca-Cola Compania Internacional de Bebidas y Alimentos S.A. Cracker Barrel (part of CBRL Group) Credit Suisse Dow Chemical Elf Aquitaine (now part of Total) Emergent Genetics (part of Monsanto) Enron EY (Ernst & Young) Freeport Indonesia (part of Freeport-McMoRan) Freeport-McMoRan G4S GlaxoSmithKline Google (part of Alphabet) GSL Australia (now G4S Australia) HP (Hewlett-Packard) IBM IKEA James Hardie Johnson & Johnson KPMG Levi Strauss Marriott McDonald's Microsoft Monsanto (part of Bayer) Novartis Pentland Group Pfizer PricewaterhouseCoopers Shell Starbucks Titan (now L-3 Titan) Total Toyota TPG UBS Unilever Union Carbide (part of Dow) Unocal (part of Chevron) Walmart Walt Disney Yahoo! (part of Verizon)
Author: Business for Social Responsibility
To address the need for health education among women in Egypt’s rapidly growing garment industry, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has partnered with Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation to expand the HERproject peer health...
Author: Rights Action, in You Tube
[This video was shot in September 2007 in the Siria Valley...Honduras, where...Goldcorp company - formerly Glamis Gold - operates the San Martin open pit gold mine...Widespread health impacts have been reported in several communities surrounding the...
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- Related companies: Entre Mares (part of Goldcorp) Goldcorp (now Newmont Goldcorp)
Author: John Tepper Marlin in Huffington Post [USA]
The safety of U.S. food depends starts with the farms where our food is grown...At work now to improve farm safety and sanitation in three Latin American countries...are staff members for a little-known project called Cultivar...[which is] providing...
Dead workers, stinking pollution and forced evictions: New report highlights ArcelorMittal's global trail of destruction
Author: Global Action on ArcelorMittal
A newly-formed coalition of environmental and community groups - Global Action on ArcelorMittal - today released a report showing how local residents and workers around the world pay the price of ArcelorMittal's success. The report...contains nine case...
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ENDESA ha reducido sus accidentes laborales en un 80%, tras la implantación del Plan Praevenio 2005-2009, lo que la sitúa entre las mejores empresas europeas en materia de Seguridad y salud laboral, con un Índice de incidencia...que se ha situado a...
Author: Justin Brown, Business Report [So. Africa]
Anglo American has raised the stakes in its crusade to achieve zero deaths at its mines, warning managers that they would forfeit promotion opportunities if they failed to improve the company's safety record. Group chairman Mark Moody-Stuart told the...
Author: Beatriz Michell, La Nación [Chile]
"¡Por favor, dialoguen!", implora el intendente de la Región de los Lagos, Sergio Galilea (PPD)...Pero tanto los trabajadores como los ejecutivos de Aguas Claras [parte de AquaChile] hicieron oídos sordos..."No negociamos con violentistas", aseguraba...