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IOSH calls for OSH to be recognised as a fundamental right

As next year marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN has an open call for input on the next decade. IOSH was pleased to take part in this survey and advocated that OSH is a fundamental right for all workers across the world and that improved transparency and due diligence can ensure this is a reality. We promoted ‘beyond compliance’ on sustainability and corporate reporting, with workers recognised as ‘material’ to national and corporate success. We recommended that the next decade should embed the social elements of sustainability, requiring decent work; effective OSH management; and the prevention of modern slavery and protection for those in the informal economy.

While recognising the many initiatives and progress made, we flagged up the reported problems of lack of awareness, capacity, national action plans, regulation and governance. We advocated that capacity-building for decision-makers should include requirements for human and labour rights training for all those involved in investment, governance and stewardship. And that more countries should develop and share National Action Plans, with ‘baseline assessments’ (to monitor progress) and information on future plans. We also recommended further translations of the UNGPs.

On social license to operate, we highlighted the growth in calls for comprehensive corporate reporting and urged that OSH and human rights should be included in this. We took the opportunity to highlight the role of standards (such as ISO 26000 and ISO 20400), as well as OSH-related ones ISO 45001 and GRI 403:2018 and also the IOSH UN-WTO Policy Hackathon submission, promoting designing-in OSH at the concept stage of developments, to build back better and healthier.

This is an important global initiative with synergy to IOSH’s work on sustainability and human capital, tackling modern slavery and human trafficking and the potential for the UN and its initiative supporters to help amplify our message that OSH is a fundamental right. For more information email publicaffairs@iosh.com or consultation@iosh.com.

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Marcus Boocock
PR Lead
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