RWI recently visited Maersk Group, a global trade, shipping and energy company with headquarters in Copenhagen, for a talk about business and human rights.
RWI’s director Morten Kjaerum was asked to address the group of legal councillors at the company.
Kjaerum presented the current state of affairs in the field of human rights to give the audience a framework to assess future developments. He spoke about human rights and business as a special space between hard law and voluntarism, discussed specific issues, such as how human rights are built into joint venture contracts, which is particularly important for businesses partnerships. Finally he looked into the future and outlined some of the up-coming challenges for transnational companies.
“Human rights have been in a constant development since 1990 and the momentum is still increasing,” Kjaerum said. “When looking into the future my assumption would be that what we will see is an increased demand for the big business and the financial sector to strengthen their capacity to respect human rights. Here the concept of human rights by design could be a way forward. We already see that in relation to data protection – where increasingly engineers in IT companies try to build privacy requirements into the new technologies from the very outset.”