I’m writing to you from Thailand this week. It was here, 22 years ago, that as a law student backpacker I said to my travel companion at the time: “I’m excited - I can do so much with my law degree to have a positive impact on the world!” Little did I know then that this would actually mean leaving the law at one point, and the pivotal role Thailand would have in the process! 🌎
I’ve been back to Thailand too many times to count, and I cannot even describe how much I’ve learnt and experienced here when it comes to business and human rights. Here is where I experienced the safe haven Thailand offered to political activists in exile from Myanmar, where I saw the economic opportunities available to workers - national and foreign, and the hopes of the country’s National Action Plan on business and human rights - the first Asian country to do so. But here also is where I’ve heard from women working 2 am night shifts making goods for the Western market who see their young children twice a year; I’ve seen the immense sadness and challenge of vulnerability, exploitation and modern slavery first hand; and I’ve seen the ‘whack-a-mole’ challenge of salient human rights issues simply moving from one supply chain to the next when the root cause is not tackled.
Now, travel is no longer needed to bring these impacts closer to home. The ever-evolving web of laws and scrutiny is doing that for us. Companies are expected to better understand where the people are in their value chain, and in which conditions they are working. The role for lawyers, reporting professionals and ESG professionals is constantly evolving, as the impacts and drivers evolve.
This is a little segue into announcing that we’re delighted at Human Level to have partnered with the Thomson Reuters Foundation to be offering a training specifically designed for these three audiences, free of charge, in London. 🌟
Space is limited - sign up here and feel free to forward this along to others who are eager to get ahead of the curve to better advising their companies on the new world ahead.
In other news, if you have colleagues asking you: “what are the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and why do they matter?”, here's the video for them! 📹
Come and time travel with us, to nearly 20 years ago, to help respond to this question, and discover four major game-changers from the UNGPs that have shaped how companies approach human rights ever since.
Just so you know what’s in store, I’m recording some of the essential videos a number of you have asked us about (for your colleagues, mainly!) and then we will be recording some more advanced videos - with HL team members, with some of our clients, and with other experts and colleagues.
More to come, and Happy Easter! 🐣