Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-564cf476b6-qxxll Total loading time: 0.292 Render date: 2021-06-18T13:04:58.202Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Companies, COVID-19 and Respect for Human Rights

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2020

Extract

The relentless spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)1 has been exponential, with an alarming number of deaths2 putting health systems under severe strain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic3 and health experts cannot predict when a vaccine may be available, or when the spread will slow.

Type
Developments in the Field
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

*

Senior Advisor, Global Issues, Institute for Human Rights and Business, UK. The author declares no conflicts of interest.

References

1 Wolfram Notebook, ‘Epidemic Data for COVID-19 (China)’, https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/examples/COVID19China (accessed 10 May 2020).

2 Worldometer, ‘Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic’, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries, (accessed 10 May 2020). For visual representation, see also MEDGIC, https://medgic.co/virus/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

3 World Health Organization, ‘WHO Announces COVID-19 Outbreak a Pandemic’ (12 March 2020), http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-CoVid-19/news/news/2020/3/who-announces-CoVid-19-outbreak-a-pandemic (accessed 10 May 2020).

4 Giles, Chris, Arnold, Martin and Greeley, Brendan, ‘OECD Warns Coronavirus Could Halve Global Growth’, Financial Times (2 March 2020), https://www.ft.com/content/1356af8c-5c6c-11ea-8033-fa40a0d65a98 (accessed 10 May 2020).Google Scholar

5 European Commission, ‘Overcrowded Reception Centres and Informal Settlements Make Migrants Vulnerable to COVID-19’ (17 March 2020), https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/overcrowded-reception-centres-and-informal-settlements-make-migrants-vulnerable-to-covid-19 (accessed 10 May 2020).

6 Scott Neuman, ‘Global Lockdowns Resulting In “Horrifying Surge” in Domestic Violence, U.N. Warns’, National Public Radio (6 April 2020), https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/06/827908402/global-lockdowns-resulting-in-horrifying-surge-in-domestic-violence-u-n-warns (accessed 10 May 2020).

7 Vijayta Lalwani, ‘Coronavirus: ‘Why has Modi done this? Rajasthan Workers Walk Back Home from Gujarat’ (26 March 2020), https://scroll.in/article/957245/coronavirus-after-lockdown-migrant-workers-take-a-long-walk-home-from-gujarat-to-rajasthan? (accessed 10 May 2020).

8 Edward Lazear, ‘Economic Stimulus is the Wrong Prescription’, New York Times (24 March 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/opinion/coronavirus-stimulus-economy-liquidity.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

9 Institute for Human Rights and Business, ‘Respecting Human Rights in the Time of Covid-19 Pandemic: Examining Companies’ Responsibilities for Workers and Affected Communities’ (April 2020), https://www.ihrb.org/uploads/reports/Respecting_Human_Rights_in_the_Time_of_the_COVID-19_Pandemic_alternate_-_IHRB.pdf (accessed 10 May 2020).

10 Human Rights Council, ‘Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework’, A/HRC/17/31(21 March 2011).

11 Ruwan Subasinghe and Helen Breese, ‘COVID and the corporate duty to respect human rights: It’s time for the business community to step up’, Cambridge Core Blog (8 April 2020), https://www.cambridge.org/core/blog/2020/04/08/covid-19-and-the-corporate-duty-to-respect-human-rights-its-time-for-the-business-community-to-step-up/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

12 Castillo, Andrea, ‘Farmworkers Face Coronavirus Risk: You Can’t Pick Strawberries over Zoom’, Los Angeles Times (1 April 2020), https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-01/california-farmworkers-coronavirus (accessed 10 May 2020).Google Scholar

13 Poonam, ‘Cleaners are our Frontline Defence’, Cleaning Accountability Blog (1 April 2020), https://www.cleaningaccountability.org.au/news/cleaners-are-our-frontline-defence/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

14 WHO, ‘Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Technical Guidance: Infection Prevention and Control/WASH’, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control (accessed 10 May 2020).

15 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ‘How to Protect Yourself and Others’ (24 April 2020), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

16 See generally National Health Service, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19)’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

17 Hiltzick, Michael, ‘Some Employers are Doing the Right Thing in the Coronavirus, Some Aren’t’, Los Angeles Times (16 March 2020), https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-16/coronavirus-employers-sick-leave (accessed 10 May 2020)Google Scholar.

18 Rachel Abrams and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, ‘Terrified Package Delivery Employees are Going to Work Sick’, New York Times (21 March 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/business/coronavirus-ups-fedex-xpo-workers.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

19 David Yaffe-Bellany, ‘1,000 Workers, Go Home: Companies Act to Ward Off Coronavirus’, New York Times (26 February 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/business/coronavirus-businesses.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

20 Avery Hartmans, ‘Silicon Valley VC Firm Andreessen Horowitz is Asking Visitors to Avoid Handshakes due to the Coronavirus Outbreak’, Business Insider (7 February 2020), https://www.businessinsider.com/andreessen-horowitz-coronavirus-fears-handshake-ban-2020-2 (accessed 10 May 2020).

21 Yaffe-Bellany, note 19.

note 19

22 Walmart, ‘How We’re Responding to COVID-19’, https://corporate.walmart.com/here-for-you (accessed 10 May 2020).

23 The Associated Press, ‘Target Boosts Employee Pay During Coronavirus Crisis’, ABC7 (20 March 2020) https://abc7news.com/6033123/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

24 Uber, ‘A Company that Moves People is Asking You Not to Move’, https://www.uber.com/us/en/coronavirus/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

25 Nick Fildes, ‘Verizon and Virgin Media Raise Pay for Frontline Workers’, Financial Times (6 April 2020), https://www.ft.com/content/d31e6627-1cc3-4f10-b96e-2b9e2670aaac?segmentId=3f81fe28-ba5d-8a93-616e-4859191fabd8 (accessed 10 May 2020).

26 CVS, ‘CVS Health to Provide Bonuses, Add Benefits and Hire 50,000 in Response to Pandemic’ (23 March, 2020), https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-health-provide-bonuses-add-benefits-and-hire-50000-response-pandemic (accessed 10 May 2020).

27 Charisse Jones, ‘Face Masks at Walgreens: Retailer is Latest to Give Workers Face Covers Amid COVID-19’, USA Today (3 April 2020), https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/03/face-masks-walgreens-workers-receive-them-midst-covid-19/2944859001/ (accessed 6 April 2020).

28 Christian Davenport, Abha Bhattarai and Jena McGregor, ‘As Coronavirus Spreads, so do Reports of Companies Mistreating Workers’, Washington Post (31 March 2020), https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/31/worker-retaliation-mistreatment-coronavirus/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

29 Julia Carrie Wong, ‘Amazon Execs Labeled Fired Worker “not smart or articulate” in Leaked PR Notes’, The Guardian (2 April 2020), https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/02/amazon-chris-smalls-smart-articulate-leaked-memo (accessed 10 May 2020).

30 Christian Smalls, ‘Amazon is a Breeding Ground’, JACOBIN (29 March 2020), https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/amazon-warehouse-staten-island-strike-coronavirus (accessed 10 May 2020).

31 Engage For Good, ‘March 10, 2020 Newsletter’ (10 March 2020), https://engageforgood.com/march-10-2020-newsletter/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

32 Michelle Grattan, ‘Morrison Tells Big Business to Show “Patriotism” as COVID-19 Threatens to Hit Harder than GFC’, The Conversation (9 March 2020), https://theconversation.com/morrison-tells-big-business-to-show-patriotism-as-covid-19-threatens-to-hit-harder-than-gfc-133255 (accessed 10 May 2020).

33 Alen Jope, ‘From Our CEO: We Will Fight this Pandemic Together’ (24 March 2020), https://www.unilever.com/news/news-and-features/Feature-article/2020/from-our-ceo-we-will-fight-this-pandemic-together.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

34 ‘Helping to Protect Lives and Livelihoods From the Covid-19 Pandemic’, Unilever (24 March 2020), https://www.unilever.com/news/press-releases/2020/helping-to-protect-lives-and-livelihoods-from-the-covid-19-pandemic.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

35 ‘L’Oréal Launches a Europe-Wide Coronavirus Solidarity Program’, L’Oréal (18 March 2020), https://mediaroom.loreal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/PR_LOreal-Europe-wide-coronavirus-solidarity.pdf (accessed 10 May 2020).

36 Catherine Shu, ‘Facebook’s $1,000 Bonus Only Applies to Full-Time Employees Working From Home, Not Contractors’ Tech Crunch (18 March 2020), https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/18/facebooks-1000-bonus-only-applies-to-full-time-employees-working-from-home-not-contractors/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

37 ‘Live Blog: How the Coronavirus Affects Garment Workers in Supply Chains’, Clean Clothes Campaign (2020), https://cleanclothes.org/news/2020/live-blog-on-how-the-coronavirus-influences-workers-in-supply-chains (accessed 10 May 2020).

38 Mark Anner and Workers Rights Consortium, ‘Abandoned? The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers and Businesses at the Bottom of Global Garment Supply Chains’, Center for Global Workers’ Rights Research Report (27 March 2020), https://www.workersrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Abandoned-Penn-State-WRC-Report-March-27-2020.pdf (accessed 10 May 2020).

39 Scott Nova and Ineke Zeldenrust, ‘Who Will Bail Out the Workers That Make Our Clothes’, Workers Rights Consortium White Paper (March 2020), https://www.workersrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Who-Will-Bail-Out-the-Workers-March-2020.pdf (accessed 10 May 2020).

40 Kay Johnson, ‘Cambodia Says 200 Factories Face Production Halt from Coronavirus’, Reuters (27 February 2020), https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-cambodia-factories/cambodia-says-200-factories-face-production-halt-from-coronavirus-idUKKCN20L1GJ (accessed 10 May 2020).

41 Anna Triponel and John Sherman, ‘Moral Bankruptcy During Times of Crisis: H&M Just Thought Twice Before Triggering Force Majeure Clauses with Suppliers, and Here’s Why You Should Too’, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (1 April 2020), https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/moral-bankruptcy-during-times-of-crisis-hm-just-thought-twice-before-triggering-force-majeure-clauses-with-suppliers-and-here%E2%80%99s-why-you-should-too (accessed 10 May 2020).

42 See generally, H&M Group Sustainability Newsletter (April 2020), https://sway.office.com/Z3Hw7HLlgCroStsn?ref=Link (accessed 10 May 2020).

43 J Clement, U.S. ‘Amazon Retail e-Commerce GMV Share 2016–2021’, Statista (9 August 2019), https://www.statista.com/statistics/788109/amazon-retail-market-share-usa/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

44 Dana Mattioli, ‘Amazon to Hire 100,000 Warehouse and Delivery Workers Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns’, Wall Street Journal (17 March 2020), https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-hire-100-000-warehouse-and-delivery-workers-amid-coronavirus-shutdowns-11584387833 (accessed 10 May 2020).

45 Taylor Lyles, ‘Walmart Wants to Hire 150,000 Workers to Meet Demand During Coronavirus Pandemic’, The Verge (20 March 2020), https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/20/21188093/walmart-hiring-employees-bonuses-coronavirus-demand (accessed 10 May 2020).

46 Sarah Roberts, ‘Digital Humanity: Social Media Content Moderation and the Global Tech Workforce in the COVID-19 Era’, Flow Journal (19 March 2020), https://www.flowjournal.org/2020/03/digital-humanity/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

47 Vijaya Gadde and Matt Derella, ‘An Update on our Continuity Strategy During COVID-19’ (16 March 2020), https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/An-update-on-our-continuity-strategy-during-COVID-19.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

48 See generally, WHO, https://www.google.com/covid19/ (accessed on 10 May 2020).

49 Guy Davies, ‘Coronavirus Misinformation on WhatsApp is Going Viral, Despite Steps to Combat its Spread’, ABC News (24 March 2020), https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-misinformation-whatsapp-viral-steps-combat-spread/story?id=69688321 (accessed 10 May 2020).

50 Patrick Clark, ‘Four Seasons Provides Free Rooms to NYC Coronavirus Doctors’, Bloomberg (25 March 2020), https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-25/four-seasons-to-provide-free-rooms-to-nyc-coronavirus-doctors (accessed 10 May 2020).

51 Vaibhav Tiwari, ‘Mumbai’s Iconic Taj Hotel Provides Free Stay to COVID-19 Health Workers’, NDTV (4 April 2020), https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/mumbais-iconic-taj-hotel-provides-free-stay-to-covid-19-health-workers-2206180 (accessed 10 May 2020).

52 See generally, ‘A Message to Our Community’, New Balance Family of Brands, https://www.newbalance.com/made-medical-letter-landing-page/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

53 ‘Brooks Brothers Responds to National Call for Enhanced Supplies for Medical Professionals and Others in Need’, My Brooks Rewards (30 March 2020), https://www.brooksbrothers.com/masks-press-release/masks-press-release,default,pg.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

54 Amit Panday, ‘Covid-19: Mahindra’s Indigenously Developed Ventilator to Cost Less than ₹7,500’, Mint (27 March 2020), https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/coronavirus-m-m-ready-with-ventilator-prototype-to-cost-less-than-rs-7-500-11585228399566.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

55 Nada Bashir, ‘James Dyson Designed a New Ventilator in 10 Days. He’s Making 15,000 for the Pandemic Fight’, CNN (27 March 2020), https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/tech/dyson-ventilators-coronavirus/index.html (accessed 10 May 2020).

56 H&M Group, note 42.

note 42

57 Oliver Balch, ‘Covid-19 Roundup: Companies Rally as Pandemic Takes Escalating Toll’, Ethical Corporation (27 March 2020), http://www.ethicalcorp.com/covid-19-roundup-companies-rally-pandemic-takes-escalating-toll (accessed 10 May 2020).

58 ‘Week of 23 March 2020’, Triponel Consulting (March 2020), https://triponelconsulting.com/this-week/#23-march-2020 (accessed 10 May 2020).

59 Chandan Mendiratta, ‘The Helping Hands of Our Society Need Our Help’, Zomato Munchies - The Blog (24 March 2020), https://www.zomato.com/blog/feed-daily-wager (accessed 10 May 2020).

60 Nina Guno, ‘Food Brands Join Coronavirus Fight with Donations to Frontliners’, Inquirer.net (25 March 2020), https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248192/food-brands-join-coronavirus-fight-with-donations-to-frontliners (accessed 10 May 2020).

61 ‘Past 2 Weeks of COVID-19 Activity in the US’, COVID Near You (2020), https://covidnearyou.org/#!/ (accessed 10 May 2020).

1
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Companies, COVID-19 and Respect for Human Rights
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Companies, COVID-19 and Respect for Human Rights
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Companies, COVID-19 and Respect for Human Rights
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *