Amal Clooney Advises Businesses To Put Human Rights At The Top Of Their Agenda If They Wish To Profit In The Long Term

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Amal Clooney Advises Businesses To Put Human Rights At The Top Of Their Agenda If They Wish To Profit In The Long Term

Photo: Human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, attends a Security Council meeting, Sept. 21, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. Mary Altaffer/AP

Amal Clooney has told a global conference hosted by SAP Ariba that companies and major corporations should put human-rights first if they wish to see their long-term profits rise.

The British-Lebanese human-rights lawyer, in her argument said that governments will be forced by voters to clamp down on those business entities ignoring or disrespecting human-rights laws, and that consumers will increasingly vote with their feet and avoid purchasing the products or services of those companies known to violate human-rights. Therefore, it is in the best interest of these businesses to stand-up for the human-rights of their employees and avoid working with governments and other entities that violate those rights.

To make her point, Clooney cited the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by Saudi agents in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the murder of Khashoggi, a large number of companies pulled investments, and planned investments, from Saudi Arabia, costing the kingdom billions.

Clooney said at the conference:

"All businesses are in a position where if they don't act, they will be judged by those communities. Business professionals and people in the West with democracies often think human rights are about someone else, someone who lives far away and isn't really like them at all — and that's actually not true. Ultimately if businesses believe that doing good can be profitable, then doing good will be sustainable."

In her speech, she also brought attention to the numerous human-rights abuses being perpetrated against minorities, women and the LGBTQ community in many countries.

While the highlighting of human-rights abuses and encouraging companies to do their best to stop their involvement with human-rights abusers may be welcome, many believe that pleading with the companies themselves to do something about this issue will not be enough. Instead, many think that the only way to clamp down on human-rights abuses is for governments themselves to impose strict fines and pursue prosecutions against those who, through their business, knowingly mistreat others or co-operate with those that do. Clooney herself in her speech, admitted that 'doing the right thing' may not always be profitable in the short-run, citing her previous pleas for drug companies to stop hiking the price of life-saving drugs.

Amal Clooney, 42, married Hollywood superstar George Clooney, 59, in 2014 after meeting in 2013. In 2017 the couple had twins. Clooney is currently working on several cases being brought against ISIS militants for their mistreatment of Yazidi prisoners during the war in Iraq.

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Thinking Humanity: Amal Clooney Advises Businesses To Put Human Rights At The Top Of Their Agenda If They Wish To Profit In The Long Term
Amal Clooney Advises Businesses To Put Human Rights At The Top Of Their Agenda If They Wish To Profit In The Long Term
Amal Clooney has told a global conference hosted by SAP Ariba that companies and major corporations should put human-rights first if they wish to see
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