Companies and human rights

Immense power and very little sense of responsibility

Multinational corporations around the world benefit from globalisation. While international flows of money, goods and communication help to grow their profits, their sense of transnational responsibility usually leaves a lot to be desired. Profit maximisation is often accompanied by disregard for children’s and youth rights, as well as environmental degradation. The activities of large companies can undermine positive developments achieved by local civil societies and development organisations like terre des hommes schweiz.

An excavator unloads phosphate in the harbour.
The responsibility of multinational enterprises mustn't stop at national borders. - © terre des hommes schweiz

Switzerland has a particular duty of care
Over the last few years, instances of massive corporate misconduct have led to increased pressure on companies. Many multinational companies are based in Switzerland, which means this country has a particular duty to ensure those corporations act responsibly on the global stage.

Active promotion of sustainable and socially responsible business practices
terre des hommes schweiz carries out numerous different activities aimed at encouraging multinational companies to respect human rights and environmental standards all over the world. terre des hommes schweiz supports the Responsible Business Initiative, which calls on Swiss companies and their subsidiaries to take responsibility for their business activities. In Western Sahara, terre des hommes schweiz opposes the illegal exploitation of natural resources through occupying forces and foreign companies. As a member of Ethos, an association for the promotion of sustainable investments, terre des hommes schweiz supports demands for companies to make their business practices sustainable and socially responsible.