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Employment: Exploitation

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What measures they will introduce to alter institutional and corporate labour practices in the United Kingdom to prevent exploitation of poor communities in developing countries. [HL5728]

The Government continue to promote a business-led, voluntary approach and to collaborate with business partners on best ways to promote corporate responsibility (CR) as mainstream business practice.

CR can be instrumental in raising competitiveness and innovation and it is important that companies adopt CR in their own commercial interests;

CR is the business contribution to sustainable development and business has a central role to play in tackling the social, economic and environmental challenges we face; and

CR is about companies operating above minimum legal requirements wherever they operate in the UK and overseas.

We also expect companies to abide by UK and national laws. The UK Government are a strong supporter of responsible business behaviour, and therefore promote adherence to the OECD guidelines on multinational enterprises, which set recommendations for good corporate behaviour.