NHRCK and Ministry of Justice Partner to Foster Integration of Human Rights into Business Operations
-NHRCK signs an MOU with Ministry of Justice to pursue mutual cooperation on business and human rights with the aim to prevent human rights abuses by businesses and offer remedies for victims-
-Two entities to jointly host a forum to raise awareness on the importance of corporate respect for human rights and conduct research on related legislation and policies-
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Chairperson Young-ae Choi) signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the Ministry of Justice (Minister Mi-ae Choo) on May 26 2020 at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Seoul) to pursue mutual cooperation on the integration of human rights into business operations.
By signing the MOU, the NHRCK and the Ministry of Justice indicated their commitment to systematically sharing the outcome of research they have conducted so far on business and human rights and strengthening cooperation for the adoption of legal and policy measures that promote corporate respect for human rights.
Integrating human rights into business management involves cultivating a corporate culture that respects human rights and putting human rights at the center of decision-making processes, with a view to preventing human rights abuses committed by businesses and their involvement in abuses committed by others and providing remedies for victims of business-related human rights abuses.
The United Nations human rights bodies have continued to provide the government with the guidance on business and human rights and issued recommendations that the government adopt laws and policies to foster respect for human rights in business practices.
In line with the UN recommendations, the NHRCK and the Ministry of Justice have been making efforts to promote respect for human rights in business operations as a way to enhance human rights protection.
※ The NHRCK has encouraged public entities to respect human rights in their operations through issuing ‘recommendations on the development of the national action plan on business and human rights’ in 2017 and distribution of a ‘manual on integration of human rights principles in public entity management’ in 2018.
※ The Ministry of Justice has conducted research and review of policies that assist domestic companies in integrating human rights into their business operations in accordance with international standards, including through preparation of the standard and guidance on business and human rights for private companies in 2019 (to be released in the first half of 2020).
The NHRCK and the Ministry of Justice have pledged to actively cooperate on six projects listed below.
1. Jointly hosting a forum to foster respect for human rights in business management
2. Sharing research papers and contents on the topic of business and human rights
3. Exchanging advice and information and promoting other forms of cooperation about how to support businesses or agencies that seek to integrate human rights into operations
4. Maintaining cooperation on introduction and implementation of international standards on business and human rights and conducting research on laws and policies to ensure compliance with international standards
5. Devising measures to ensure effectiveness of human rights due diligence
6. Other projects related to business and human rights that require mutual cooperation
The NHRCK and the Ministry of Justice will work together to enhance corporate awareness of the importance of integrating human rights into business practices and promote a corporate culture that respects human rights through adoption of new laws and policies.